ALL eyes on Wembley as the Capital One Cup Final takes place between Liverpool and Man City. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) gives us his views.
Liverpool v Man City | Sunday 16:30 | Sky Sports 1
And so to the first major trophy of the season as Liverpool and Man City battle it out for the Capital One Cup on Sunday at Wembley. Who wins here?
This is Liverpool's third appearance in a major final in four years and their first in the League Cup since 2012 when they beat second-tier Cardiff on penalties.
It's been a frustrating season for the club overall as they lie in ninth place in the Premier League but the appointment of Jurgen Klopp as manager brings hope that in the medium and long terms major things can be achieved at the club.
They've been a total nightmare to call this season from a betting point of view with rampant wins over today's opponents and Southampton mingling alongside poor losses to Newcastle and Watford.
I'm actually hell bent on removing Liverpool from my thoughts here in this match and concentrating strongly on Manchester City. They hold the key.
Many people (including myself) think this side should be top of the league. They have the squad depth, they have the talent and they have the experience.
Unfortunately it's the application that leaves a lot to be desired and there are too many of their top players who look like they just don't fancy it on occasions.
They've won the league twice now this decade and struggled both times when defending their crown. That's quite telling. One gets the impression the desire that was there the season they won it is diluted the following year.
The Champions League is something they've never got close to winning but they've made great strides this year in the competition and have produced results far above what they've done in the league.
Drawn alongside Juventus, Sevilla and Borussia Monchengladbach it looked another tough task for them to qualify but they kicked on brilliantly from an opening night defeat to win the group. Very impressive.
From there they began their knockout campaign earlier this week with a superb 3-1 win in Kiev against Dynamo. A place in the Quarter-Finals looks assured – and not many sides will want to draw them. They look incredibly focussed in that competition.
And that's the key really. Focus, application and determination. City don't seem to have that in the Premier League but have it in plentiful supply in the exotic surrounds of the Champions League. And with this being a Cup Final you'd like to think that will apply here too.
Yes, I think Man City will be up for this on Sunday. There's a trophy waiting there to be collected, honours to be accrued, praise to be heaped on and back slapping galore to be conducted. Why wouldn't they be up for it?
They're a much superior side to this evolving Liverpool team and if they show a bit of teeth on Sunday then I think they'll get this done and dusted.
Odds of 7/5 feel generous on a neutral ground. Nine points separate the sides in the league and Man City have been flat in that competition since the autumn.
On Sunday they can rise to the occasion and prove they're a much stronger side than their opponents. I'll take them to win 2-1 and 3-1 respectively too as they've kept just two clean sheets in their last eight games.
Liverpool v Man City – Man City to win (7/5 BetVictor)
Liverpool v Man City – Man City to win 2-1 (9/1 BetVictor)
Liverpool v Man City – Man City to win 3-1 (20/1 BetVictor)
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