Weblog: The football punter
Slick Citizens could blow Villans away at Wembley
EFL Cup final - Aston Villa v Man City
Sky Sports Football, 4.30pm Sunday
Wembley hosts the first major cup final of the season on Sunday, with Manchester City targeting a third successive EFL Cup triumph when they line up against Aston Villa.
Unsurprisingly, the Villans are long outsiders to deny City at the national stadium. Dean Smith’s underdogs have lost three games on the bounce in all competitions and are battling against Premier League relegation.
City, meanwhile, have won nine of their last 12 matches and have their sights focused on the cup competitions now that their Premier League crown is on its way to Anfield.
Making City the kings of Europe for the first time is the ultimate aim for Pep Guardiola but he will want to challenge for every remaining trophy such is the strength of his squad.
The Citizens have made this competition their own in recent years, lifting the trophy in four of the last six seasons and winning six of the seven EFL Cup finals they have contested.
And if that record in the final wasn’t an ominous enough omen for their opponents, January’s 6-1 rout of Aston Villa in the Midlands adds further fear.
That was Villa’s fourth defeat in a row against Manchester City and their seventh in the last eight meetings. The Citizens have scored 26 goals in that eight-game run and have kept six clean sheets.
Villa have conceded at least three goals in a game on eight occasions this season, five of which have come in eight games against the Premier League’s big six.
Another long afternoon could be on the cards for them at Wembley and City, who have scored at least three goals in four of their five EFL Cup games this season, are fancied to defend their crown in ruthless fashion.
Man city to score at least three goals