The League Cup – a tournament that many would argue has lost its glimmer in recent years, in an age when even the FA Cup has dimmed in the eyes of many a fan. And yet, it is still one of the big four cups on offer. It is still held aloft as a trophy worth having. And it is still one that Manchester City and Liverpool will both be desperate to lock away as a momentum builder, a fan pleaser, and a motivator with the end of the Premier League season almost upon us. But who will take the glory? Let’s have a look at the clubs in action and what might sway a punter’s mind…
Are this club destined to be an almost-ran in the race for dominant clubs in Europe, or will Pep Guardiola lead them to the success they so crave? Over the past ten years their rise has been dramatic, yes, but with just a few trophies to show for it, and as of yet dismal Champions League campaigns under the belt, the blue side of this northern city really must be wondering when the flood gates will open.
The League Cup may not be the trophy everyone wants, but it might well be exactly the one that this squad needs to lift in order to spark themselves into the form they not only desperately requite, but probably should be delivering.
Let’s be honest, this is a star-studded outfit; Sergio Aguero, save for injuries, is arguably in the top few players in world football. Yaya Toure, whilst waning, still has more to offer than we’ve seen this year. David Silva, Samir Nasri, Vincent Kompany – they’ve all had injury issues – but it’s about time they delivered on the quality that their pasts, and their paychecks, demand.
Up against this Liverpool side (who we’ll look at in a moment), seeking to send Manuel Pellegrini out with at least something to show for 2016, and despite some of their dubious recent results, it would be a brave punter who bets heavily against the Blues in this one.
Liverpool, a couple of FA Cups, Champions Leagues and a Luis Suarez season aside, really aren’t the club their fans still think they are… are they? The last two decades have, all in all, been underwhelming for a fan base that once rode the pinnacle of joy when it came to domestic – and indeed European – football.
That said, it’s not all doom and gloom. They’re in a League Cup final, and they’ve got a new manager in Jurgen Klopp that – whilst results haven’t yet improved markedly – is having an impact on squad morale, passion and confidence.
Throw in to the act a fit-again Daniel Sturridge (touch wood all you Liverpudlians) and really, who’s to say this team can’t fight for trophies again? Keep their talisman fit, get a few of their players into form, and Sunday could well go their way.
Betting Odds at Betfair
- City to win: 13/10
- Draw: 12/5
- Liverpool to win: 23/10
Disclaimer: All opinions expressed herein are that of the author and not necessarily those of Hello Punter, and should not be taken as betting advice. No bets are guaranteed, and you may lose more money than you get back. Please gamble responsibly.