This Sunday sees the Carabao Cup final take place at Wembley, as reigning Premier League champions and Carabao Cup holders Manchester City face off against Aston Villa, who are currently embroiled in a fight for their Premier League survival. City will undoubtedly go into the match as favourites; their squad is superior to Villa’s and they defeated Dean Smith’s side 1-6 just a handful of weeks ago, but in a one-off game like this, an upset is always possible.
Manchester City vs Aston Villa Head-to-Head
Pep Guardiola’s side have already defeated the Villains twice this season; they defeated the Midlands side 3-0 at the Etihad in October, and then whitewashed them 1-6 at Villa Park, with Sergio Aguero hitting a hat-trick.
In terms of how both sides made the final, Villa defeated Crewe Alexandra, Brighton & Hove Albion, Wolves, Liverpool and Leicester City, while the Citizens overcame Preston North End, Southampton, Oxford United and Manchester United.
Recent form appears to favour City; Villa have lost their last 3 Premier League games while Guardiola’s side have won their last 2 and defeated Real Madrid in Champions League action this week.
Manchester City form guide: L-L-W-W-W
Aston Villa form guide: W-W-L-L-L
Manchester City vs Aston Villa team news
City will be concerned about the possibility of Aymeric Laporte missing Sunday’s game after he was substituted with an injury during this week’s win over Real Madrid. Raheem Sterling is expected to be fit, but after staying home during the trip to Madrid, Leroy Sane remains a doubt.
Injured: Aymeric Laporte
Doubtful: Leroy Sane
Aston Villa have far more injury concerns than their opponents this weekend; striker Wesley and goalkeeper Tom Heaton are both out until next season with serious knee injuries, while key midfielder John McGinn has yet to recover from his broken ankle and will remain unavailable.
Injured: John McGinn, Wesley, Tom Heaton
Doubtful: Keinan Davis
Manchester City vs Aston Villa Predicted XI
Manchester City predicted XI (4-3-3): Claudio Bravo, Kyle Walker, Fernandinho, Nicolas Otamendi, Benjamin Mendy, Phil Foden, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling
Aston Villa predicted XI (3-4-3): Pepe Reina, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings, Kortney Hause, Frederic Guilbert, Marvelous Nakamba, Douglas Luis, Matt Targett, Trezeguet, Mbwana Samatta, Jack Grealish
Manchester City vs Aston Villa Prediction
As cool as it’d be to see an upset this weekend, it’s hard to imagine it happening. Aston Villa haven’t been on the best run as of late and the likelihood is that they’ll be more focused on Premier League survival than winning the Carabao Cup. City meanwhile have a deep enough squad to ensure that their Champions League exploits earlier in the week won’t exhaust them – the predicted XI above could easily be different and yet equally strong. Guardiola’s men will have to watch out for the mercurial talents of Jack Grealish, but if they can keep him quiet, they should be fine.
Prediction: Manchester City 2-1 Aston VillaPublished 28 Feb 2020, 12:00 IST