Man City face Tottenham in epic final
Manchester City find themselves looking to win three trophies this season: the Carabao Cup, Premier League, and UEFA Champions League. It could have been four, but they exited the FA Cup at the hands of Chelsea in last weekend’s semi-finals.
Now they have the chance to win the Carabao Cup for a fourth successive season (and a fifth time from the last six campaigns), though manager Pep Guardiola comes into the match defending his team selection from the Wembley defeat to the Blues. The final comes up tomorrow at Wembley Stadium in London at 4:30 pm. The match will be aired live on SuperSport Premier League channel.
“When a team arrives in the final stages of all the competitions, when this team, wins four finals in a row in the Carabao Cup, you can’t say that. Just say we lost the game,” said the Spaniard. “We don’t get to the semi-finals of the FA Cup, the final of the Carabao Cup four years in a row, and the semi-finals of the Champions League when we do not pay attention to anything.”
Tottenham, meanwhile, come into the game in disarray after sacking manager Jose Mourinho and his technical team early this week – hardly the best preparation as they look to win the Carabao Cup for the first time since 2008 and a fifth time overall. “Jose and his coaching staff have been with us through some of our most challenging times as a club. Jose is a true professional who showed enormous resilience during the pandemic,” said Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.
Kevin De Bruyne – Man City’s Belgian playmaker is a man for the big occasion and will be aiming to stamp his authority on this clash in Wembley. If De Bruyne can get on the ball and orchestrate the Citizens’ attack with freedom, then a fourth straight Carabao Cup is surely theirs for the taking.
Harry Kane – If Tottenham are to have any realistic chance of upsetting Man City in this final, then they will need their big players to come to the party, especially captain Harry Kane. The England striker will be desperate to win a first piece of major silverware with his beloved Spurs.
In head-to-head stats, Man City and Tottenham have met in 163 matches across all competitions since their first clash back in 1909. The Citizens have claimed 64 wins compared to 63 for Spurs, while 36 games have been drawn.
The teams have met twice in the Premier League this season, with Tottenham winning 2-0 at home in November 2020 before City claimed revenge with a 3-0 triumph in the return game in February 2021. The clubs’ last meeting in the Carabao Cup was in December 2007, with Spurs winning 2-0 away from home in the fifth round, en-route to winning the competition that season.
Battles to watch
Riyad Mahrez v Sergio Reguilon – City’s Algerian attacker will look to make use of his vision, spatial awareness and sublime left foot by drifting in off the right flank, while Spurs left-back Reguilon will be tasked with trying to keep Mahrez’s involvement to a minimum.
Joao Cancelo v Son Heung-min – The versatile Portuguese defender has been a key man for City this season, using his flawless technique and tactical intelligence to give his side an edge. Yet he’ll be tested by the clever running and raw determination of Spurs attacker Son, who will look to fire his team to glory.
Gabriel Jesus v Eric Dier – Whether City opt for a traditional center-forward in their line-up remains to be seen, but assuming Gabriel Jesus gets time on the field he will be confident of getting the better of Eric Dier, with the English center-back set to have a busy afternoon against the free-flowing attack of Spurs’ opponents.
Vanguard News Nigeria
Source: Sports – Vanguard News
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