This Sunday, the first trophy of the football season will be up for grabs. From the round of 16 to this final, it’s been an eventful tournament for both sides that will be featuring in the final: Arsenal and Manchester City.
The Gunners eliminated two Premier League teams (West Ham and Chelsea) on their way to the final, while Manchester City faced only one Premier League team in the EFL Cup final run-in.
As all roads lead to Wembley on Sunday, which other factors will determine which team will win the Carabao Cup?
Looking at their Premier League numbers, there’s a stark difference between these two sides. City has a goal difference of +59 goals while Arsenal has +15. But this is not the Premier League – although this stat could influence the game in its own way too.
Both teams entered the EFL Cup competition in the latter stages, meaning they both played just 5 games. During those five games, Arsenal scored six goals and conceded just two goals while Manchester City scored eight goals and conceded five goals.
Winning this trophy will need one of these two teams to outscore each other – either during normal time or after normal time.
What’s a football game without its own fair share of history? These two sides have a lot of history between them, on and off the pitch. Asides selling a lot of their players to Manchester City over time (Bacary Sagna, Samir Nasri, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy), games between both sides, in recent times, has always been eventful.
In the last six meetings between both sides,
- Both teams scored
- At least three goals were scored
- Arsenal won two of those six meetings
- Manchester City also won two of those games.
For all the history that is between both teams, it’s the players that will be playing on the pitch that will determine how this would go.
For Arsenal, the firepower of the likes of Mesut Ozil, Aubameyang and Jack Wilshere will be needed to push Arsenal over the line on Sunday.
For Manchester City, the absence of Delph – due to suspension – at right back may hurt City.
Because it is a final, there’s a debate as to which players the managers will use. Arsene Wenger has already confirmed that he will be using David Ospina in goal. What of Guardiola? Will he stick to Claudio Bravo or will Ederson start?
Whichever player is chosen, they will determine which team will win this final.
As we count hours down, which team will you be supporting on Sunday? Leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts.