Aston Villa vs Man CityEFL Cup, KO: 16:30 Mar 1, 2020, Wembley
ASTON Villa and Manchester City will contest the Carabao Cup Final on Sunday to decide the season's first piece of silverware.
The Citizens have climbed the Wembley steps in each of the last two season's to lift the League Cup and star-studded City will be confident of retaining their crown when they square off with relegation-threatened Aston Villa.
Pep Guardiola's men produced a magnificent comeback to defeat Real Madrid in midweek and after meekly surrendering their Premier League title to runaway leaders Liverpool, City look determined to take all three of the remaining trophies that are available to them.
City dished out a 6-1 drubbing to Villa when the two sides met in mid-January and that will present Dean Smith with the onerous task of trying to formulate a plan to thwart Gaurdiola's serial winners.
Aston Villa have been turned over in each of their last three top-flight tussles and certain permutations this weekend could see the Villains land in London occupying a place in the Premier League's relegation zone.
Indeed, the the Claret and Blue have reached the Carabao Cup Final, however, Villa have struggled for consistency this term and Sundays's underdogs will head south having won only three of their last 14 league matches.
The Betting Odds
If you fancy a grandstand finish to the Carabao Cup Final then the draw is on offer at 8/1 with Betfred.
Man City have won four of the last six League Cup finals and Blue Moon are big favourites at a best 1/6 with Boylesports to triumph in 90 minutes.
The Betting Angles
The bookmakers prices for Sunday's showpiece unsurprisingly suggest that this will be a one-sided affair and as such punters will have to dig deep to try and come up with some cup final value.
An alternative angle that I like the look of is the 10/11 (PaddyPower) on offer for Man City's midfield maestro Kevin De Bruyne to have a shot on target at Wembley.
The brilliant Belgian put in a sparkling display in the Bernabeu on Wednesday night and he recently reached his best-ever goal return in a Premier League season.
What's more, Pep's playmaker appears to have been appointed as City's new penalty-taker and that adds to the appeal to backing De Bruyne to have a shot on target.
If Aston Villa are to cause an upset then they will turn to talisman Jack Grealish who has been one of the most outstanding attacking-midfielders in the English top-flight this term.
Pep Guardiola recently described Grealish as one of the best players in the Premier League and the Villa captain can be backed at 6/5 with PaddyPower to have two or more shots on Sunday.
Taking this approach does not require the shots to be on target – two attempts on goal would see this bet land – and Villa's biggest goal-threat will be desperate to lead his boyhood club to glory, not to mention Grealish is averaging 2.2 shots per game in the Premier League.
I tipped Villa to score when they were mauled 6-1 by Man City in the Midlands and backing both teams to hit the back of the net at Wembley looks tempting at 27/20 with SportNation.
Both teams have scored in nine of Villa's last 10 outings and it's a betting angle that has clicked in 20 of City's last 27 matches, however, I'm more attracted to the 5/4 (Coral) that is available for just simply backing Aston Villa to get on the scoresheet.
Although I fully expect Man City to continue their love affair with the League Cup, I do fancy Villa to strike against a City defence that tends to look suspect without star-defender Aymeric Laporte.
What's more, Villa have grabbed a consolation goal in 11 of their 16 defeats this season and City registered just four clean sheets across the 20 league games that Laporte was unavailable for.
This EFL Cup match between Aston Villa and Man City will be played on Mar 1, 2020 and kick off at 16:30. Check below for our tipsters best Aston Villa vs Man City prediction.