Just two weeks after suffering an embarrassing 6-0 defeat to Manchester City, Chelsea face Pep Guardiola’s quadruple-chasing team again in the Carabao Cup final.
Since that humiliation, Chelsea have been dumped out of the FA Cup on home soil by Manchester United and they are struggling to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League, so Sunday’s match takes on even greater significance for the beleaguered Maurizio Sarri and his players.
Both teams have won the trophy five times but it is City that seem far better equipped to taste glory for a sixth occasion this weekend, although the match will surely be far closer than a fortnight ago.
However, it has to be remembered that Chelsea did beat City 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in December and in Eden Hazard they have a potential match-winner. The Belgium international is 8/1 to score the first goal at Wembley.
In addition, Guardiola’s team were far from their best in Wednesday’s 3-2 Champions League victory against a Schalke side that are enduring a poor campaign.
City have won five of the six finals they have contested with their only loss coming in 1974 and in Sergio Aguero they have a player in exceptional form.
However, it is Gabriel Jesus that has been most prolific for City in the Carabao Cup this season – the Brazilian has five goals to his name – and he could be the man to break the deadlock on Sunday.
Guardiola’s team should have the edge in what could be a high-scoring match – odds of 33/20 on there being over 3.5 goals should be taken up – while a draw at half time and City victory after 90 minutes available at 29/10.
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