Having secured a massive result at the Bernabeu midweek, Man City have the opportunity to lift some silverware here and then advance their prospects in the FA Cup on Wednesday next week.
It’s totally understandable they’re at such a short price having won this tournament in three of the past four seasons, and whereas they had to overcome Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea at the final hurdle in those finals, requiring penalties on two occasions, Villa shouldn’t provide such stern opposition.
Dean Smith’s men had looked in good shape after beating Leicester in the semi-finals, with their second-leg win leaving them W2-D2-L1 over their last five fixtures at the time.
However, that defeat was a 6-1 trashing inflicted by their opponents here, while their subsequent three games following this run have seen them downed by Bournemouth (A), Spurs (H) and Southampton (A).
Head-to-head results haven’t been kind to Villa either as they’ve lost all four clashes with City since January 2016 by a combined 17-1, with the other meeting this term seeing City triumph 3-0 at the Etihad.
Manchester City To Win And Both Teams To Score
Pep Guardiola sprang a surprise midweek as he left Fernandinho, David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero all on the bench, with the Englishman the only one whose minutes were restricted on the basis of fitness having just returned from injury.
However, while his tactics at the Bernabeu effectively saw his team play with a pair of false nines and no strikers, with Gabriel Jesus stationed out wide on the left, he won’t be showing Villa so much respect as Real Madrid and he’ll revert to something more usual at Wembley.
Sterling made a big impact from the bench and could well be risked from the off here, though Aymeric Laporte doesn’t stand a chance of making the cut.
The centre-back is vital to City’s defensive efforts and having come off injured during the first half against Los Blancos, he might not even feature again this season.
That encourages us that Villa can find the net in defeat. Both teams have scored in nine of Villa’s last 10 matches, with four of these games coming against either Leicester, Man City or Spurs.
In fact, Dean Smith’s side have seen both teams find the net in 10 of 12 encounters with the ‘Big Six’ or Leicester this season.
Further, all five League Cup finals since 2010 where a ‘Big Six’ team faced someone outside of that group saw both teams register on the scoreboard, as only one of these games went beyond normal time.
ALL ABOVE PRICES ARE CORRECT AS OF 12:30 28/02/2020 AND ARE SUBJECT TO FLUCTUATIONS
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