CARABAO CUP FINAL - MATCH PREVIEW
While although the Carabao Cup final is usually the preserve of February, this season has seen it delayed by two months and in doing so, it means that 8,000 supporters will be in attendance on Sunday.
The month of the final may have changed, but the venue has not and although those 8,000 will be rather sparse within Wembley’s vast structure, their collective roar will be just as welcomed by those on the pitch.
Those 22 players will make up the starting elevens of both Manchester City and Tottenham and with these two squaring off at the home of English football, the winner will clinch the first major trophy of the season.
While when it comes to major trophies, Manchester City were aiming to win all four in the next month or so and after their F.A. Cup Semi-final defeat to Chelsea last weekend, it will be a treble at best for Pep Guardiola’s men
Of course, that is a trophy haul that is not to be sniffed at and Tottenham would love to be a club, that is 'only' competing for a treble – especially as the North London outfit have not won any silverware in 13 years.
It was this very competition where Tottenham last got their hands on any trophy and after beating Chelsea in the 2008 final, they have also had to make do with defeats in both the 2009 and 2015 showpiece events.
While when it comes to this competition and Manchester City, it is fair to say that they have an almost symbiotic relationship. The Eithad outfit have won the last three editions of the Carabao Cup and four out of the last five.
Usually winning the Carabao Cup is a springboard to bigger and better things in the final third of the campaign and it usually acts as a catalyst for City to then go on and win the Premier League three months later.
However, City do not really need such a springboard this time around and after beating Aston Villa in midweek, the 2019 Premier League champions are just three wins away from regaining English football’s biggest prize.
With that said, Pep Guardiola will want to get his hands on an even bigger prize next month and with a Champions League Semi-final on the horizon next week, the temptation may be to save players for the clash with PSG.
Then again, Tottenham have their own selection dilemma and one that interim manager Ryan Mason hopes has a positive outcome. That’s because the fitness of Harry Kane still hangs largely in the balance and time is running out for the England international to declare himself available.
If their talisman cannot lead Tottenham out on Sunday, it will be a huge blow and there is no doubt he will be sorely missed. With that said, this is now a club with absolutely nothing to lose and they still have enough talented players to do what may considered as the largely unthinkable. Time will tell, if an upset is on the cards this weekend.