Sunday sees the first final showpiece in the England football calendar when Manchester United meet Southampton in the EFL Cup final. I’ve put together this EFL Cup Final tips preview complete with team news, analysis and predictions to help you with your betting needs.
EFL Cup Final Tips and Analysis – Manchester United
The EFL Cup has been a happy hunting ground for Jose Mourinho. It’s been a good way for him to get a piece of silverware in the trophy cabinet early in the season – which might explain why he won it three times with Chelsea in the past. This will be the tenth final the Red Devils have played in and they will be seeking their fifth victory. Their dominance in this trophy could well see them EFL Cup Final tips to win it once again
Mourinho has complained about fixture congestion and the number of games he has to play but if I’m honest I think that’s mind games on his part. Man Utd are into the Europa League round of 16 and the FA Cup Quarter Finals as well as this game and with their Premier League challenge all but dead the cups are a good way for him to secure his future going forward.
The Red Devils are in good form too – they’ve lost one game in 25 in all competitions since the start of November. That game was curiously enough in this competition – a 2-1 defeat away to Hull City in the semi final second leg, with the 2-0 first leg victory at Old Trafford enough to give them the aggregate victory.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Michael Carrick both limped out of their 1-0 away win over St Etienne in midweek and are doubts for the game. Wayne Rooney could come into the team – assuming he doesn’t move to China in the meantime – while Mourinho has also suggested Marouane Fellaini and Bastian Schweinsteiger could come in.
EFL Cup Final Tips and Analysis – Southampton
This will be the first appearance for Southampton in the EFL Cup final since 1979 in Claude Puel’s debut season in English football. The Saints beat Crystal Palace, Sunderland, Arsenal and Liverpool to get this far and Manchester United will hold no fear for them.
Southampton don’t have the fixture congestion that their opponents are worried about having been dumped out of the FA Cup by Arsenal and the Europa League in the group stages. Their form isn’t great at the moment either – having won only one of their last four games in all competitions – a 4-0 stuffing of Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
However, it would be stupid to write them off. Forward Nathan Redmond in particular will be telling his team mates about the 2011 final when his team, the much unfancied Birmingham City outplayed heavy favourites Arsenal to win in the final. Redmond was just starting out in football that season and made his debut in the early rounds of the competition – he wasn’t in the final but he will have remembered that despite Arsenal being the EFL Cup Final tips to win it didn’t work out that way.
The game has come to soon for Sofiane Boufal, who remains on the sidelines along with long term injury victims Virgil van Dijk and Charlie Austin.
EFL Cup Final Tips and Analysis – Prediction
I’m torn on this one. On the one hand, for all the mind games and the arrogance, Mourinho is successful for a reason and I can see him winning a fourth trophy based on how well Manchester United have progressed this season. On the other hand, I remember 2011 myself (as a Birmingham City fan) and no one gave my team a chance. Arsenal didn’t take their chances and didn’t defend well when it mattered; Birmingham City did.
The only thing I think I know for sure is that there will be goals and so my EFL Cup Final Tips are to back over 2.5 goals at 2.14
EFL Cup Final Tips and more from ProTipster
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