TOM LOVE (@TomLove_18) unearths the best betting value Manchester City meet Chelsea at Wembley for the EFL Cup final on Sunday.
Chelsea v Manchester City | Sunday 24th February 2019, 16:30 | Sky Sports
It’s the first cup final of the season and Manchester City are looking to claim this trophy for the fourth time since they beat Sunderland in 2014. Chelsea, on the other hand, will be looking to collect the EFL Cup for the fifth time in their history.
The quadruple is still a possibility for City and this could be the first of the four. The Citizens sailed through the tournament with consummate ease, in no part down to a favourable draw en-route to Wembley: Oxford, Fulham, Leicester, Rotherham and Burton have all been dispatched, and this games present their hardest challenge so far in this competition.
Man City came from behind with 10 men to beat Schalke 3-2 in the Champions League on Wednesday night. Pep started his big guns in that one and the club’s desire to succeed in that competition has been made public for a while now, ultimately that’s why the Abu Dhabi group employed Guardiola in the first place.
City’s quick turnaround from that match in Gelsenkirchen may put a few punters off the 4/7 quotes on the Blue Moon but their quality cannot be doubted.
Chelsea have had a considerably harder passage to the final, and for that they deserve credit. Liverpool, Derby, Bournemouth and Spurs have all been swatted aside by the Blues; they’ve also progressed to the Last 16 of the Europa League and their ‘cup side’ seems to have done remarkably well considering it’s not Maurizio Sarri’s first-choice XI.
Callum Hudson-Odoi has been in the news of late with transfer speculation rife about the young Englishman. However, on the pitch he has been excellent every time he’s been called upon. His trickery and pace was destructive last time out against Malmo – he’s also managed to get himself on the scoresheet a few times now in Europe. Whether he starts here is yet to be known but if he does he will certainly give City a lot to think about.
The betting angles
Given the contrasting form of the pair of late it’s hard to see City not winning this; their price is probably fair enough. To squeeze a bit more value out of them though we can chuck in Over 1.5 Goals to garner a much more appetising 10/11 with Paddy Power.
When City win it’s seldom by a 1-0 scoreline – the only time they’ve done so this season was away at Spurs in the league and the second leg of their already done tie against Burton.
Secondly, there’s a player that looks decent value in the Shots On-Target market – David Luiz is well known for his mean free kicks and should Chelsea get a set-piece centrally, within 35 yards or so he’s sure to have a pop. The Brazilian also comes up for corners and will be aimed at along with Antonio Rudiger from them.
David Luiz is 9/2 (Betfair) just to have at least one strike on-target and I expected that to be a bit shorter all things considered.
Finally, I think it’s worth having a punt on Sky Bet’s enhanced price of 9/1 on both Sergio Aguero and Eden Hazard both notching. It’s a bet I put up in this game in the league at the Etihad and Aguero obliged but Hazard didn’t. With this been on neutral soil I think it has a greater chance, and it’s a bigger price than it was then.
Aguero is on fire at the moment; 17 league goals for the season is a good return especially considering he hasn’t started every game. He’s also in strong current form with 11 in his last 10 in all competitions.
Personally, I do think Hazard flatters to deceive a little bit he probably remains Chelsea’s key threat. The Belgian has to impress on the big stage if he wants a Real Madrid or Barcelona to come knocking. He, like Aguero, is also on penalty duty which is an added bonus.
Chelsea v Manchester City – Manchester City to win and Over 1.5 Goals (10/11 Paddy Power)
Chelsea v Manchester City – David Luiz to have 1+ shot on-target (9/2 Betfair)
Chelsea v Manchester City – Sergio Aguero and Eden Hazard both to score in 90 minutes (9/1 SkyBet)