League Cup Final Preview and Prediction: Liverpool vs Manchester City

Competition: League Cup Final – Liverpool vs. Manchester City

Venue: Wembley Stadium – Sunday, February 28 – 16:30 GMT (11:30 ET)

Match Odds: Liverpool 2/1 – Draw 12/5 – Manchester City 13/10

Match Preview

Liverpool face Manchester City in the 2015/16 League Cup Final on Sunday afternoon, with the two sides meeting at Wembley in what should be a great contest.

Liverpool will be appearing in their first final for four years on Sunday. They lifted the League Cup back in 2012, following a penalty shootout win against Cardiff, but come into this one as underdogs.

The Reds have already beaten City this season, with the 4-1 demolition at the Etihad in November one of Liverpool’s best performances of the campaign. They will likely need to reach those levels again to beat the Citizens here.

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Jurgen Klopp will be desperate to win some silverware in his first season at the club, and will hope for better success on his return to Wembley, as he had to watch his Dortmund side get beaten by Bayern Munich in the 2013 Champions League Final on his last visit to the stadium.

Manuel Pellegrini will hope to lift the League Cup for a second time on Sunday. He guided City to the trophy two years ago and knows this could be his last chance at winning silverware before he leaves the club at the end of the season.

City ended their three-game losing streak with an important 3-1 Champions League win at Dynamo Kyiv on Wednesday. Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Yaya Toure scored the goals in that victory and City will need their best players to perform to their best once again on Sunday.

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The 4-1 loss to Liverpool might be in the minds of some of the players but this is a completely different scenario and City fans will be confident of revenge.

Liverpool’s extensive injury list will affect their chances but their brightest attacking players are all available. Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino will look to hurt a City defence that hasn’t kept a clean sheet in four outings.

City have only won two of their last nine matches against Liverpool in all competitions, with the Reds winning four of those games and so this is expected to be a tight contest between two exciting teams.

Roads to the Final

Liverpool’s road to the final:

Third Round: Carlisle (H) 1-1 (3-2 pens)

Fourth Round: Bournemouth (H) 1-0

Fifth Round: Southampton (A) 6-1

Semi-final: Stoke (A) 1-0/Stoke (H) 0-1 (6-5 pens)


 

Manchester City’s road to the final:

Third Round: Sunderland (A) 4-1

Fourth Round: Crystal Palace (H) 5-1

Fifth Round: Hull City (H) 4-1

Semi-final: Everton (A) 1-2/ Everton (H) 3-1

Team News

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp still has plenty of injuries to worry about heading into Sunday’s showdown. Joe Gomez, Danny Ings, Martin Skrtel, Adam Lallana, Brad Smith and Joe Allen are all certain to miss out, while Jordan Rossiter and Dejan Lovren are doubts. Steven Caulker is ineligible as he has already played for Southampton in the competition this term.

Manchester City have no fresh injury concerns to worry about, though they remain without Samir Nasri, Fabian Delph and Kevin De Bruyne. Willy Caballero could get the nod ahead of Joe Hart in goal in what would be an interesting choice. Wilfried Bony and Jesus Navas have returned to training and should make the squad.

Key Points

Liverpool’s last five in all competitions: D/D/W/D/W

Manchester City’s last five in all competitions: W/L/L/L/W

Key Stat: There have been 32 goals in the last eight games between these two sides in all competitions – an average of four per game.

Key Player: Sergio Aguero – The Manchester City striker will be tasked with trying to fire his side to glory on Sunday. In a game that will be loaded with star players, Aguero is the most likely to turn the game on its head in a flash with his finishing abilities amongst the best in the world.

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Score Prediction

Liverpool 1-2 Manchester City – This is expected to be another open contest between two attacking sides and so goals are expected. There is probably more pressure on Manchester City to win this game, and they come into the clash as favourites. Despite a poor run of late, the Citizens should have enough to lift their first trophy of the campaign, but expect this to be closely fought.

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League Cup Preview and Prediction: Sheffield Wednesday vs Arsenal

Competition: League Cup Fourth Round – Sheffield Wednesday vs. Arsenal

Venue: Hillsborough – Tuesday, October 27 – 19:45 GMT (15:45 ET)

Match Odds: Sheffield Wednesday 7/1 – Draw 4/1 – Arsenal 2/5

Match Preview

Sheffield Wednesday welcome Arsenal to Hillsborough for the first time in almost 16 years for a fourth round League Cup tie on Tuesday night.

The Owls edged a 2-1 win away at Rotherham last time out and are currently ninth in the Championship after an unbeaten run of eight games in all competitions (W5 D3).

Wednesday secured their place in the fourth round thanks to Lewis McGugan, who scored a second-half winner to beat Premier League side Newcastle 1-0 at St James’ Park in the previous round.

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Head coach Carlos Carvalhal is expected to make a number of changes to his side and said this week they only have a “10% chance” of winning the tie against a high-flying Arsenal side.

The Gunners arrive in Sheffield after one of the most successful week’s they’ve had for quite some time.

A 2-1 win at home to Everton on Saturday sealed a third win in 7 days, after beating Watford 3-0 a week before to put Arsenal level on points with Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.

Sandwiched in between those games was one of the club’s greatest European triumphs as they beat a scintillating Bayern Munich side 2-0 at the Emirates.

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Arsene Wenger will undoubtedly make numerous changes for this clash as he usually does in this competition, in order to use it as an opportunity for the younger players and non first-team regulars to gain some playing time.

The Gunners enjoyed a 2-1 win over rivals Tottenham at White Hart Lane in the previous round.

The last meeting between the two sides was a Premier League clash, which produced an entertaining 3-3 draw at Highbury back in May 2000.

Team News

Sheffield Wednesday will be without the injured Michael Turner, Alex Lopez, Marco Matias and Modou Sougou.

Arsenal’s injury list includes Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky. Goalkeeper David Ospina is also still out with a shoulder problem so youngster Matt Macey may get a chance if Arsene Wenger chooses to rest Petr Cech.

Key Points

Sheffield Wednesday’s last five in all competitions: W/W/D/D/W

Arsenal’s last five in all competitions: L/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Sheffield Wednesday haven’t made it past the fourth round in the League Cup since the 2001/02 season when they reached the semi-final.

Key Player: Mathieu Flamini – The Frenchman is probably still on a come down after his two goals in the last round at Spurs. His experience in the midfield could be key.

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Score Prediction

Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Arsenal – This is a potential banana skin for the Gunners and while many expect them to eventually come out on top, it may be tighter than some would think.

League Cup Preview and Prediction: Stoke vs Chelsea

Competition: League Cup Fourth Round – Stoke City vs. Chelsea

Venue: Britannia Stadium – Tuesday, October 27 – 19:45 GMT (15:45 ET)

Match Odds: Stoke 5/2 – Draw 5/2 – Chelsea 21/20

Match Preview

Stoke host Chelsea in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night in what will be another real test for Jose Mourinho and his struggling side.

Stoke had won three on the bounce before Saturday’s 2-0 loss at home to Watford. They will look to pick back up with a win against the League Cup holders here and will be confident considering Chelsea’s poor form.

The Potters sit one point above the Blues in 14th in the Premier League after ten weeks and so it’s tough to call who will come out on top on Tuesday.

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Both sides could do with a solid cup run. Stoke have got this far by just edging past Luton on penalties before beating Fulham 1-0 in the last round.

Chelsea only entered the competition in the last round as they are the reigning champions. They beat Walsall 4-1 away from home and face a tougher road trip this time.

The Blues lost 2-1 at West Ham on Saturday in a game that saw Nemanja Matic sent off, while Mourinho was sent to the stands with one of his assistants.

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Chelsea have lost their discipline too many times already this season and the Portuguese head coach is under real pressure at this early stage of the campaign.

Chelsea have won the last four meetings between these two in all competitions. Stoke last beat the Blues in December 2013 in a thrilling Premier League game that ended 3-2.

Team News

Stoke are set to be without Geoff Cameron, who was injured in Saturday’s loss to Stoke. Ryan Shawcross is close to returning to action and could be named on the bench here.

Chelsea will be without Matic after his red card on Saturday. While Loic Remy, Pedro, Branislav Ivanovic and Thibaut Courtois are all struggling with injuries and are unlikely to make the trip.

Key Points

Stoke’s last five in all competitions: W/W/W/W/L

Chelsea’s last five in all competitions: L/L/W/D/L

Key Stat: Chelsea have never beaten Stoke in six previous League Cup games (D3 L3).

Key Player: Bojan – The Spanish attacker has returned from injury and looks to be in good shape. He will look to hurt Chelsea if he starts here.

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Score Prediction

Stoke 1-1 Chelsea – This should be a really close game and could be quite a nervy affair. We’re not expecting bundles of goals but Chelsea should be able to do enough to at least earn a draw in 90 minutes, taking the game into extra time – not that either side will want that.

League Cup Final Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Tottenham

Competition: Capital One Cup – Chelsea vs Tottenham

Venue: Wembley Stadium – Sunday, March 1st – 16:00 (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Chelsea 4/6 – Draw 11/4 – 9/2

Match Preview

It’s Chelsea vs Tottenham in the League Cup final and this has all the makings of a classic cup final clash at Wembley in what is a repeat of the 2008 final. Spurs lifted the trophy with a 2-1 win after extra-time on that day but have not won a trophy since and will have all eyes on Sunday’s clash with their London rivals.

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Chelsea go into the game as favourites and the Premier League leaders will be seeking revenge for that 5-3 defeat at White Hart Lane on New Years Day in this one. Jose Mourinho will have his side fully focused on the game as the Blues look to win their first trophy under Mourinho since his return 18 months ago.

The Blues come into the game off the back of a disappointing 1-1 draw with Burnley last weekend but have had a full week to prepare for Sunday’s huge clash.

Don’t miss our League Cup final preview show:

Spurs were eliminated from the Europa League by Fiorentina on Thursday night and remained in Italy after the game to prepare for the League Cup final so it will be intriguing to see just how much that affects their performance.

Chelsea won the league meeting between the two sides with a comfortable 3-0 victory at Stamford Bridge in December but that 5-3 loss at White Hart Lane sets this one up perfectly.

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That defeat to Spurs was Chelsea’s first in eleven and so they will fancy their chances of lifting English football’s first major domestic honour of the season.

Team News

Chelsea will be without Nemanja Matic after he was sent off in last week’s draw against Burnley in what is a huge blow for Mourinho. Ramires will likely step in to partner Cesc Fabregas in midfield, especially as John Obi Mikel is likely to be unavailable as he is still suffering from a knee injury. The Blues will be at full strength apart from that and it will be interesting to see who starts in goal as well as who partners John Terry at the back as Gary Cahill was outclassed at Tottenham in the 5-3 loss.

Chelsea vs Tottenham League Cup Final Predicted Lineups

Chelsea vs Tottenham League Cup Final Predicted Lineups (via Lineupbuilder.com)

Spurs have no injury concerns ahead of the game and Mauricio Pochettino will be able to field what he feels is his strongest team on Sunday. Ryan Mason, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Moussa Dembele, Eric Dier and Harry Kane did not start against Fiorentina and can be expected to play from the off in this one. Erik Lamela is likely to start on the right but Andros Townsend and Nacer Chadli will both be pushing for starts too.

Key Points

Chelsea’s last five in all competitions: D/W/W/D/D

Tottenham’s last five in all competitions: W/L/D/D/L

Key Stat: Goals galore – There have been 33 goals in the last seven meetings between these two sides in all competitions.

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Key Player: Branislav Ivanovic – The versatile right-back has been in fine form of late for Chelsea and has scored four in his last six from defence. He will need to stop Christian Eriksen but could be a real threat at the other end too.

Score Prediction

Chelsea 1-1 Tottenham – There is too little to separate these sides in normal time and we could see the game go to extra-time once again. If it does Spurs could repeat their antics from the 2008 final and the key for Chelsea will be dealing without Matic for the entire game.

VIDEO: Chelsea vs Tottenham – League Cup Final Preview

Chelsea face Tottenham at Wembley Stadium in the 2015 League Cup Final on Sunday. The game is a repeat of the 2008 League Cup final as Spurs came out as 2-1 winners in extra-time courtesy of a Jonathan Woodgate header.

The teams have already met twice in the Premier League this season with Chelsea winning 3-0 at Stamford Bridge before Spurs won 5-3 in that New Years Day thriller. The Blues will be looking for revenge from that loss with the first major domestic honour up for grabs in this London derby at Wembley.

The MLSGB team take a look ahead to the game and what we can expect to see from both sides. Let us know who you think will win the game below.

 

Sheffield United vs. Tottenham: League Cup Preview and Prediction

Competition: Capital One Cup Semi-Final Second-Leg

Venue: Bramall Lane – Wednesday, January 28 – 19:45 

Match odds: Sheffield United 7/2 – Draw 13/5 – Tottenham 17/20

Sheffield United host Spurs in the second-leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final tonight with a place in the final at Wembley up for grabs.

The tie is perfectly poised after Spurs earned a narrow 1-0 victory in the first-leg last week but the Blades know they need to attack a lot more than they did at White Hart Lane.

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Andros Townsend converted the winning penalty in the 74th minute after Jay McEveley was adjudged to have deliberately handled the ball in the box, but Sheffield United defended well throughout and limited Spurs to just five shots on target.

Nigel Clough will have been pleased with what he saw but he knows his side must now attack Spurs if they are to reach Wembley for the second year in succession after facing Hull City in the FA Cup semi-final last term.

Sheffield United home record in all competitions: Played 16 – Won 9 – Drawn 4 – Lost 3

That will suit Spurs as they will look to counter-attack at every opportunity and Mauricio Pochettino’s side always look most dangerous when they can hit teams on the break.

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Tottenham were knocked out of the FA Cup by Leicester on Saturday as they conceded two late goals against the Foxes, and so the League Cup has become even more important as the club look to win their first trophy in seven years.

Tottenham’s away record in all competitions: Played 15 – Won 7 – Drawn 4 – Lost 4

Sheffield United earned an FA Cup replay with Preston North End after drawing 1-1 on Saturday but the home fans will hope to see off the challenge of Premier League opposition once again, and will take confidence from their 1-0 win against Southampton in the fifth round of the competition.

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This will be the the fourth meeting between the two sides in the League Cup and Spurs have won all three of the previous encounters, including last week’s 1-0 victory.

The game will be Tottenham’s first away from home in the League Cup this season. Their last loss away from home in the competition came against Norwich in October 2012.

Sheffield United’s last five in all competitions: W/W/L/L/D

Tottenham’s last five in all competitions: L/W/W/W/L

Key Stat: Spurs have not won at Bramall Lane in their past five attempts, spanning 25 years. Their last win at Sheffield United came in the League Cup in 1990.

Key Player: Jamal Campbell-Ryce – The 31-year-old winger has scored four goals in his last five and was the Blades’ main threat last week. He will give Spurs left-back Ben Davies plenty to think about.

Sheffield United vs Tottenham Prediction: Sheffield United 1–1 Tottenham Hotspur – Spurs to advance to the final on aggregate but they will find it tricky at Bramall Lane.

Chelsea vs Liverpool: League Cup Semi-Final Preview and Prediction

Competition: Capital One Cup Semi-Final Second-Leg

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Odds: Chelsea 8/13 – Draw 16/5 – Liverpool 9/2

Chelsea and Liverpool will lock horns once again as they meet for the second-leg of their League Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge with a place in the final at Wembley at stake.

The first-leg ended all square at Anfield after Eden Hazard put the Blues 1-0 up from the penalty spot before Raheem Sterling scored a deserved equaliser for Liverpool, who will be kicking themselves that they didn’t get more out of the game after having 19 shots to Chelsea’s two.

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The Reds dominated large periods but Chelsea held firm and will fancy themselves to get over the line on home soil and combining that fact with their away goal, it makes them the slight favourites. But after the events of the weekend just gone, it shows that anything can happen – especially in a cup tie.

Chelsea’s home record in all competitions: Played 16 – Won 14 – Drawn 1 – Lost 1

Liverpool haven’t lost since December 14 when they suffered a 3-0 league defeat against Manchester United, and since then they have gone on a 10-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

By Chelsea’s standards, the last month will be considered as an average and inconsistent return having won just three of their last seven in all competitions, drawing two and losing two, most notably a 4-2 defeat at home to League One Bradford in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday – their first home loss of the season.

Liverpool’s away record in all competitions: Played 16 – Won 8 – Drawn 1 – Lost 7

Jose Mourinho’s sides aren’t used to conceding too many goals in a game, so the 5-3 defeat at Tottenham, and the Bradford game, will almost certainly be in the back of their minds, so despite being at home, we could see a very similar game to the first-leg as Chelsea will look to keep it tight.

These two side have previously met six times in this competition, with Liverpool coming out on top three times to Chelsea’s two, with last week’s first-leg the first League Cup tie that has ended level between them.

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Liverpool triumphed 2-0 the last time these two met at Stamford Bridge in the League Cup, which came back in November 2011, so they will be hoping that history can repeat itself on Tuesday night.

Chelsea’s last five in all competitions: W/W/W/D/L

Liverpool’s last five in all competitions: W/W/W/D/D

Key Stat: Liverpool are without a win in their last six games against Chelsea.

Key Player: Raheem Sterling – The young Englishman is Liverpool’s top goalscorer in the League Cup and his attacking flair causes concerns for any defence.

Chelsea vs Liverpool Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool – Chelsea to edge it and seal their place in the final.

Tottenham vs. Sheffield United: League Cup Semi-Final Preview and Prediction

Competition: Capital One Cup Semi-Final First-Leg

Venue: White Hart Lane

Odds: Tottenham 1/3 – Draw 9/2 – Sheffield United 8/1

Tottenham Hotspur welcome cup specialists Sheffield United to White Hart Lane on Wednesday night for the first-leg of their League Cup semi-final.

The Blades have been incredible in domestic cup competitions in recent times and travel to London looking to beat a Premier League side for the sixth time in 12 months.

The League One outfit have already beaten West Ham United and Southampton in the competition this year and they also beat Queens Park Rangers 3-0 in the FA Cup earlier this month.

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Spurs will need to be wary, though manager Mauricio Pochettino is ready to make plenty of changes, as this is the sixth game of nine in a hectic January for the Lilywhites.

Tottenham’s home record in League Cup: Played 3 – Won 3 – Drawn 0 – Lost 0

Tottenham are unbeaten in nine at home and have beaten Nottingham Forest, Brighton and Newcastle at White Hart Lane in the Capital One Cup this season.

Sheffield United are chasing promotion to the Championship in the third tier of English football and have only lost two of their last eight in all competitions.

Sheffield United’s away record in League Cup: Played 3 – Won 2 – Drawn 1 – Lost 0

Blades manager Nigel Clough always gets the best out of his players for cup games and Wednesday night should be an intriguing tie.

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Spurs will be looking to put one foot in the final with a victory, while United will hope to still be in the tie by the time of the return leg next week.

This will be the first meeting between the sides in eight years and Spurs have only won one of the last five against the Blades.

Tottenham’s last five in all competitions: W/D/L/W/W

Sheffield United’s last five in all competitions: D/L/W/W/L

Key Stat: Sheffield United have eliminated five Premier League sides from domestic cup competitions in the past 12 months.

Key Player: Roberto Soldado – The Spanish striker played well in last week’s 4-2 FA Cup win against Burnley despite missing a sitter and will look to end his goal drought by adding to his two goals in the League Cup already this season.

Prediction: Tottenham 2 – 1 Sheffield United 

League Cup Semi-Final Preview and Prediction: Liverpool vs Chelsea

Competition: Capital One Cup Semi-Final First-Leg

Venue: Anfield

Odds: Liverpool 12/5 – Draw 5/2 – Chelsea 23/20

Liverpool host Chelsea in the first-leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final tie at Anfield on Tuesday night and both sides come into the game in full confidence.

Liverpool have won their last three in all competitions and are unbeaten in eight since losing 3-0 at Manchester United in December.

Liverpool’s home record in League Cup: Played 2 – Won 1 – Drawn 1 – Lost 0

They haven’t lost at home since early November, but they were beaten by Chelsea on that day and have a poor record against Jose Mourinho’s team in recent times.

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The Blues beat them 2-1 earlier this season and all but ended their title hopes late last season in a 2-0 win back in April 2014.

Chelsea will be confident as a result and will look to take their attacking form from their 5-0 win at Swansea into the game on Merseyside.

Chelsea’s away record in League Cup: Played 2 – Won 2 – Drawn 0 – Lost 0

A Chelsea win puts one foot in the final as they will be expected to win at home, so Liverpool must ensure that they remain in the tie come full-time on Tuesday evening.

Both sides will field strong lineups and Brendan Rodgers may bring Steven Gerrard and Adam Lallana back into the side after they missed the 2-0 win at Aston Villa this weekend.

Jose Mourinho will be without Cesar Azpilicueta but Thibaut Courtois could return after missing the last couple of games with a finger injury.

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This will be the sixth time in history that these two have met in the League Cup. Liverpool have won three of the previous five meetings, with Chelsea winning two.

Liverpool’s last five in all competitions: W/D/W/W/W

Chelsea’s last five in all competitions: D/L/W/W/W

Key Stat: Chelsea haven’t lost to Liverpool in their last five meetings, scoring twice in the past four.

Key Player: Diego Costa – The Spanish striker scored the winner at Anfield back in November and looked back to his best as he bagged a brace at Swansea on Saturday.

Prediction: Liverpool 1 – 2 Chelsea