This weekend could have been so different. Back in December, when Tottenham Hotspur were top of the Premier League, if you’d told someone that The Lilywhites would face Manchester City In the EFL Cup final, almost everyone would assume that the managers presiding over their respective troops would be Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.
While the Catalonian champion in waiting still organises The Citizens, his Portuguese former counterpart has been dismissed. Mourinho’s era as one of the Premier League’s most successful managers may likely be over, in his place a 29-year-old former player in Ryan Mason (pictured below).
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We’ve found three bets at odds of 5/1 or better for you to choose from for this Sunday’s first opportunity to win domestic silverware of the season. For Manchester City, it would be a first trophy since they won last year’s competition at Wembley by defeating Aston Villa.
For Tottenham Hotspur, however, it would be the first cup they’ve lifted since Juande Ramos guided them to a 2008 triumph in this competition at the expense of Chelsea.
Something has got to give.
Both Teams to Score in a Draw (11/2)
It’s easy to look at this game and see a simple victory for a City side in a good groove, but Guardiola’s side have not been immaculate of late and were a little fortunate to obtain their latest Premier League win against Aston Villa in midweek.
Had Matty Cash not joined John Stones in taking an early bath – in the opposite dressing room – we may well have been talking about the possibility of a ‘Devon Loch’ moment for Guardiola’s side. As it is, they will be hot favourites, but Spurs are a dangerous animal when wounded, and right now, shorn of their manager due to result taking a cliff-top plunge, they are bleeding and angry.
Harry Kane being back would give them a huge boost, but Mason is likely to involved at least two of Dele Alli, Gareth Bale and Heung-Min Son, so expect an open, attacking game. Goals could come easily to both sides and while we’d expect City to eventually get the job done, it may take extra-time. 11/2 is a great price for the game to go in that direction with both teams getting on the scoresheet.
Moussa Sissoko to be booked first (14/1) or at anytime (10/3)
Moussa Sissoko is something of a curate’s egg, a bizarre combination of impressive player with moments of madness lying just beneath the surface. The midfielder is often the key to Spurs’ results, but sadly for him and them, this doesn’t only apply in a positive sense.
Frequently outmanoeuvred in the engine room, Sissoko has the strength and deft touch to escape his problems, but too often is lazy in the tackle and this weakness can lead to bookings against quick teams.
With players such as Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan moving the ball between them at breakneck speed and pinpoint accuracy, Sissoko is only ever one mis-timed flick away from getting into the referee’s notebook. We think he’s a great bet to do so first at 14/1, with the anytime booking (10/3) your saver bet.
Aymeric Laporte to score first (22/1) anytime (11/1)
Talking of saver bets, we need to talk about Aymeric Laporte. With a terrific record of scoring opening goals, often in games where the more heavily-marked players cannot escape the attentions of defenders, Laporte should be much shorter than 22/1 to open the scoring and 11/1 to score at any time.
While everyone has been raving about John Stones resurgence alongside Ruben Dias, we’ve thought it a little unfair that Laporte was so easily brushed aside by Manchester City during a period where he might arguably have done even better.
This feeling was only proved right during the most recent Premier League game where Stones saw red for a tackle which was reckless, stupid and ideally should really have been saved for an England World Cup campaign. It was that bad.
Make sure that you get your bets on before 4.30pm GMT on Sunday April 25th, as that is when Manchester City take on Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley in the EFL Cup final. Register with Bet365 to receive £100 in bet credits right here!
May all your bets be live until the final whistle!
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