Dates: Feb 24th, 2019
The Carabao Cup final kicks off 24th February and we are being treated to an absolute cracker. Top teams, top players, top managers and 90,000 screaming fans at the home of football, Wembley Stadium, we have all the ingredients for a blinding game!
Let's see which one of these heavy hitting clubs will be cracking the champagne come the end of the game.
Having first been played in the 1960/61 season this is the 59th instalment of the League Cup Final, currently named the Carabao Cup due to sponsorship reasons.
We kicked off the competition with all 92 English league teams, including the big guns from the Premier League, after 87 matches, 268 goals we are left with two of the best to commence battle. Of course, it is no surprise to see the free-scoring reigning champions Manchester City making their way into the final.
Having picked up the trophy last year without stepping out of second gear, a routine 3-0 victory over Arsenal. This year they boast the top scorer in the competition thus far with the enigmatic Gabriel Jesus (5).
Having had a favourable semi-final draw against Burton Albion, winning 10-0 on aggregate they assured themselves the opportunity for a repeat when they step onto the turf at Wembley come February 24th.
Will they make it a Premier League, League Cup domestic double? As Conor Mcgregor would say, that would make them a worthy champ champ! The seasoned gambler probably wouldn’t bet against it!
We turn our attention to the team standing in the way of City retaining their trophy. Chelsea scrapped through an injury-hit Spurs, winning eventually on penalties (4-2) to reach their first League Cup final since 2015. A couple of stats, as we all love stats, this is Chelsea’s eighth final with six managers, Sarri is the fourth manager to make a final in his first season in charge. After Chelsea’s rollercoaster season thus far, it stands as a huge achievement for Maurizio Sarri and his boys to reach the final, will this be Sarri’s first trophy in football?
Chelsea have had, as mentioned, an up and down season, a blistering start to their first 10 games with the new manager Sarri at the helm, they have since fallen off the bandwagon letting Liverpool and Manchester City pave the way but this final allows Chelsea the opportunity to rescue their season. Top brass agreed to shell out a world record fee for of £71.6 million for Kepa Arrizabalaga, who in turn made the crucial save to earn a crack at the trophy. I for one can’t wait to see how this plays out, we have in one corner the blue team of London vs the blues of Manchester. With so much talent on display, let’s hope they can deliver the game we all want to see.
After Chelsea’s well-documented striker problems, Morata firing on two cylinders and Giroud not seeing the net ripple, it is no surprise that Chelsea opened the cheque book as they so often do.
They turned their attention to an old pupil of Sarri’s, none other than record-breaking Serie A striker Gonzalo Higuain. At 31 years old some will have their doubts, it is up to the man to prove to himself and the doubters that he belongs in the premier league. As they say, time will tell, welcome to the premier league Higuain.