Arsenal v Manchester City – Carabao Cup Final
16:30- Sunday 25th February
Preview – Carabao Cup Final
Arsene Wenger is seeking to win his eleventh trophy having already won seven FA Cups and three Premier League titles during his 21-year Arsenal reign. Despite this, Wenger has lost both of his League Cup Final appearances as Arsenal manager. Under his tenure, Arsenal lost to Chelsea in 2007 and Birmingham in 2011.
Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola will be looking to capture his first trophy since joining Manchester City in 2016. City’s hopes of achieving the quadruple this season were shattered as they were defeated 1-0 in the FA Cup Fifth Round by Wigan Athletic.
Arsenal defeated Chelsea in the semi-finals of the competition with a 2-1 victory at the Emirates after earning a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge in a gutsy defensive performance. Manchester City overcame Bristol City with a 5-3 win on aggregate. The plucky Championship side gave Guardiola’s side a tough test. Having already beaten Manchester United in the previous round, they would have been confident, but Manchester City proved too strong.
Wenger is the only manager to have defeated Guardiola’s Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City sides. The Gunners conquered the Citizens in last season’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley as Alexis Sanchez scored the winner in extra-time in a 2-1 triumph. Nevertheless, Guardiola got the better of Wenger in the league this season as City beat Arsenal 3-1 at the Etihad. The two sides are due to meet again just a week after the cup final in the next round of Premier League fixtures at the Emirates.
Arsenal have underperformed domestically in the last few seasons as they failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time 19 seasons. However, cup competitions have presented Arsenal with the chance to rectify their poor league performances as the north London side have won the FA Cup on three occasions in the last four seasons.
Arsenal will have to wait with anticipation as Aaron Ramsey faces a late fitness test. The Welshman could prove to be key, if fit, having scored two FA Cup final winners. The Gunners will be without Alexandre Lacazette as he faces up to a month on the sidelines following minor knee surgery. Henrikh Mkhitaryan also misses out due to being cup-tied. Mesut Ozil is expected to return to the side after illness while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should also feature after being ineligible in the Europa League.
Manchester City are likely to be without Gabriel Jesus, who is still recovering from a knee injury. Fabian Delph is suspended following his red card dismissal against Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup. Guardiola also insisted that Raheem Sterling is a doubt for the final and will face a late fitness test.
All time head-to-head record:
Arsenal wins: 96
Manchester City wins: 51
Last six meetings:
Arsenal wins: 2
Manchester City: 2