Feb 24, 41 days ago

EFL Cup Final Preview

EFL Cup Final Preview

It has been 41 years since Southampton won their one major trophy and the Saints return to Wembley this weekend to beat the team they overcame in the 1976 FA Cup Final.
Manchester United are favourites to win their fifth League Cup, but will be wary of a Saints side with decent pedigree in this year’s competition. Keep reading for our EFL Cup Final betting preview.

United the EFL Cup final betting favourites

It has been seven years since Manchester United last competed in the EFL Cup final but a win on Sunday would see the Red Devils become the tournament’s second most successful side.
Jose Mourinho has already won the EFL Cup three times and has played strong sides throughout this season’s competition. With United going strong on four fronts, a win at Wembley would be Mourinho’s first silverware at United and the club’s second major trophy in just nine months.
United’s defeat to Hull City in the second leg of the semi-final was actually their first in any competition since 3 November and they have been on an excellent run of form. Having knocked Northampton Town and reigning Cup holders Manchester City out of this year’s EFL Cup, they then saw off West Ham before a somewhat nervy win over the Tigers over two legs.
With Champions League qualification still the priority, Mourinho is likely to make some changes for the match although perhaps not as many as you may expect. The Portuguese is a manager who takes knockout football seriously, evidenced by the strength of the team he sent out at Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup last weekend.
United have a few injury problems ahead of the game, with Phil Jones and Wayne Rooney expected to miss the match through injury. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Michael Carrick also limped out of United’s 1-0 win over St Etienne in midweek and Jose Mourinho expects the pair to miss Sunday’s final.
United are just 8/11 to win with a 2-0 victory available at 7/1.
See all the prices here.

Southampton looking to win their first EFL Cup

It has been 38 years since Southampton‘s only appearance in the EFL Cup Final and, despite their long history, one solitary FA Cup remains the Saints only major trophy.
Of course, their 1-0 win at Wembley in 1976 was as an underdog against Manchester United and so the Saints have the chance to emulate the team of 41 years ago and bring some silverware back to the South Coast.
It’s hard to say that Southampton don’t deserve their place in the final considering they have beaten Premier League opposition in every round of this season’s competition. While they may have been expected to see off Crystal Palace and Sunderland, victories against Arsenal and Liverpool were against the odds, and their excellent performance at Anfield in the semi-final secured their place at Wembley.
Despite their Cup run, Claude Puel’s side have been in indifferent form in the league. The Saints have won just two of their last 8 league matches – and those were against struggling Sunderland and Leicester City – and so they don’t go into the match in any sort of confidence.
Their absence from the FA Cup has given them a couple of weeks to prepare for the final and that could be an advantage. They have beaten United in each of the last two seasons – both times by a single goal – and a 1-0 victory would mirror their upset in the 1976 FA Cup final.
However, injury problems in defence have taken their toll, and Puel may be forced to give a debut to former Juventus defender Martin Caceres who hasn’t played since rupturing an Achilles tendon a year ago.
Saints are 7/2 to win in 90 minutes and 12/1 to nick a 1-0 victory.

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