Aston Villa edged out Leicester City by one goal over the two-leg semi-final to reach the EFL Cup final for the first time in a decade. They meet current holders Manchester City on Sunday which on paper looks like a mismatch.
City have endured a tough season sitting 22 points behind Liverpool in the league. Pep Guardiola has admitted defeat and his sole focus is now on making sure there is at least one trophy in the cabinet this season.
Find out where we see the betting value for this one and get all the latest team news plus more.
Aston Villa vs Manchester City – EFL Cup Final 01/03/2020
Where to Watch
Kick Off Time: 16:30 GMT
TV Channel / Live Stream: This game will be broadcast live by Sky Sports in the UK. The game will be on the Main Event channel, with live match build-up from 15.30 GMT. Subscribers can also catch the action on the go via the SkyGo app.
Aston Villa vs Manchester City – The Form Guide
Aston Villa are no stranger to this tournament and have won it a joint-third best five times. They have reached the final a further three times and shouldn’t be written off just yet. The Villans were outsiders to beat Leicester in the semi’s given only a 5/1 (6.0) shot of progressing and stunned their high-flying opponents.
Third choice keeper Orjan Nyland was the player of the tie making a number of excellent saves in the second leg, before a 93rd minute from Trezeguet sent the Villa fans into dreamland. Dean Smith’s side are in a relegation scrap at the bottom having lost three in a row, but with nothing to lose here, they could really go all-out attack.
The Cityzens have won back-to-back trophies in this tournament and will edge to within one of Liverpool’s record of eight wins. The league is all but over and a trophy on Sunday would lift the team’s spirit ahead of a difficult second leg Champions League tie against Real Madrid.
Similarly, to their opponents, City made it to the final by a slim one-goal margin. In fact, Guardiola’s side were defeated 1-0 at home against Manchester United. They went through after securing a 3-1 win in the first-leg but show they are vulnerable in these games.
What is the Team News?
Smith was bitterly disappointed with his sides 2-0 defeat to Southampton in the league at the weekend. He has said that several players played themselves out of the final so we expect a few changes.
Pepe Reina is one of the players who could drop to the bench. He produces moments of brilliance mixed with bizarre ones. He has been below par in the last few matches with his decision making, and considering Nyland’s heroics in the last round could find himself on the bench.
Anwar El Ghazi, Douglas Luiz, Ezri Konsa and Frederic Guilbert could also face the chop after poor performances.
On these players expected to drop out, John MGinn, Tom Heaton, Keinan Davis, and Jed Steer all miss out through injury. While record signing Wesley is out for the season.
Manchester City face a different kind of headache. Raheem Sterling is expected to return for the mid-week clash against Real Madrid following an injury. It is not clear if Pep would risk him for another game on the Sunday with the second leg of the blockbuster tie coming so soon after.
Claudio Bravo has been playing in goal for this competition and will likely start here.
Pep will likely rotate a few squad players in for the final with the Champions League likely higher in priorities. Phil Foden is rumoured to get the nod with Kevin De Bruyne dropping to the bench.
Aston Villa Predicted Line-up: Nyland, Hause, Engles, Mings, Elmohamady, Drinkwater, Hourihane, Trezeguet, Nakamba, Samatta, Grealish
Manchester City Predicted Line-up: Bravo; Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Stones; Mahrez, Rodri, Gundogan; Bernardo Silva, Foden, Gabriel Jesus
Aston Villa vs Manchester City Latest Odds
Given their respective league positions and recent history, Aston Villa would have expected to be underdogs. In saying that, their odds are huge. SportNation have Aston Villa at a massive 16/1 (17.0) to get the win here in 90 minutes. Although we don't think that City will lose, 16/1 in a final is huge. On the other foot, of course, Manchester City are available for the win at 1/8 (1.13).
If you think it will be all square at the end of the 90 you’ll get 7/1 (8.0) with SportNation.
Aston Villa vs Manchester City Score Prediction
With Villa expected to make several changes, it could go either way for them. If the changes work, they could keep the game tight and create chances on the counter. Jack Grealish has been one of the leagues players of the seasons and will cause problems to the City defence. If Bravo does start in goal, then Grealish may even fancy his chances from distance.
In saying that, City are the league’s top scorers (68) and Villa hold the worst defensive record (52). Jesus has popped up with a couple of goals lately and Riyad Mahrez is also on good form. On top of that, Villa have lost seven of the clubs' last eight meetings. City will be expected to win this by a decent margin.
With this is mind we’re going for a convincing 3-1 win to City at 34/9 (10.75) with SportNation.
Aston Villa vs Manchester City Tip
From a betting angle, everything points to Manchester City lifting this trophy for the third time in as many years. Pep will not want to lose especially given his sides poor run in the league this season. He will likely field a strong side with a couple of fringe players who will want to prove themselves.
It is, however, a cup final, and anything can happen. Villa will be pumped for this one and a trophy would give them the belief that they can survive their relegation scare.
If Pep’s team don’t quite get going, he has plenty of talent to call from the bench which may be the difference on Sunday. Because of that, we can’t tip the underdogs here, but we do fancy them to nick a goal. Grealish has been the engine for Villa this season and if anyone from Villa score, we reckon it will be him.
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Frequently Asked Questions
✅Q: What time is kick-off?
A: Kick-off is at 15.00 GMT.
⚽Q: What channel is the match on?
A: Sky Sports Main Event in the UK.
🥇Q: What odds are Manchester City to win?
A: They are priced at 1/8 (1.13) while Aston Villa are a huge 16/1 (17.0)