EFL Cup Final Preview

Manchester United take on Southampton in Sunday’s EFL Cup final at Wembley. This is set to be an intriguing game, Southampton will be no pushovers against Manchester United.

For anyone thinking that Manchester United will win comfortably – think again. I think Southampton will push United all the way. Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s injury on Wednesday was a big boost for Southampton as he’s been a really important player for United in recent weeks. Mkhitaryan will be a huge miss tomorrow, whether Wayne Rooney gets a chance in midfield remains to be seen. If Southampton can keep United quiet for the first 20 minutes, the saints will grow in confidence. The signing of Gabbiadini has really lifted Southampton, he looks like he will be a huge player for them. Gabbiadini has scored three goals in two games since joining the club – he really has made a flying start to his saints career. Southampton’s first season under Claude Puel has been full of inconsistency with displays at times ranging from fantastic to abject but the run to this final has been extremely noteworthy with four top-flight rivals all ousted and no goals conceded.

For Manchester United, they will be hoping for a good performance from Paul Pogba, when Pogba is on form he is almost unplayable. However since his return to Old Trafford he has been hit and miss. He needs to find some consistency, I am sure that will come in time because he is a class act. United are always dangerous on the attack, especially with Zlatan Ibrahimovic leading the line. Many people were quick to doubt the Swede when he joined Manchester United. The majority of people questioned whether he could be a success in the Premier League considering his age. Zlatan has certainly proved the doubters wrong this season, scoring 15 goals from 24 appearances in the league. A great return for a debut season, Zlatan will surely end up with over 20 goals in the league come the end of the season.

Only Brian Clough (4) and Alex Ferguson (4) have won the League Cup more times than Jose Mourinho (3). Mourinho has never lost an English domestic cup final in his career, also winning the FA Cup in 2007. Mourinho is always hungry for trophies and he has proven he can handle the pressure that a final brings.

Southampton have some good young players coming through. The club always seem to produce great talent and it’s a credit to the work that goes on behind the scenes. The saints will be without Virgil Van Dijk, he is an integral part of the Southampton team. For me he is one of the best defenders in the Premier League, the Dutchman is a joy to watch and a consistent performer. He is a huge loss for Southampton.

My Prediction:

This looks set to be a very close game, hopefully an entertaining final – some can be very edgy. I just feel Manchester United have a bit too much for Southampton in this one. With Ibrahimovic up front you always fancy a United win. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one go to extra time or penalties.

I am going to go for a 2-1 Manchester United win. Let’s hope for a very entertaining final.