The first trophy of the season is set to be lifted as Chelsea and Manchester City compete for the Carabao cup glory at Wembley later today.
Manchester City defeated Burton Albion (10 – 0 on aggregate) to get to this stage of the competition while Chelsea laboured through to this stage after beating Tottenham (via penalty kicks) in the semi-final round.
Apart from being the final match of the EFL Cup competition, tonight’s match is one that both sides would want to win by all means.
Two weeks ago City thrashed the Blues by massive 6-0 scoreline, therefore, Maurizio Sarri has a point to prove against the Cityzens later today.
A win against the Cityzens won’t just see him win his first trophy in his 29-year-old managerial career, it would also reduce the pressure mounting on his job at Stamford Bridge.
Scoring six goals against Chelsea isn’t a frequent occurrence, hence, Pep Guardiola would want to be prove to everyone that his side’s 6-0 victory wasn’t a fluke.
Guardiola will definitely charge his players not to get carried away by the victory, reminding them of the fact that they suffered their first defeat of the season to Maurizio Sarri’s men last year.
Since the commencement of the Carabao Cup competition, the Blues have won it five times and they will make it six should they defeat their Mancunian opponents on Sunday.
Sarri is under intense pressure to save his job after he was bungled out of the FA Cup competition by Manchester United who defeated his side 2-0 on Monday.
Chelsea supporters are unpleasant with his tactical approach to games and they have never hidden their desire to see him out of Stamford Bridge before the end of the season.
However, a win against Malmo — to progress to Europa League’s round-16 stage — last week helped reduce the agitation among the Blues faithfuls but Sarri must defeat City to further win the heart of his employers and his supporters.
Chelsea are winless in their last four away fixtures in the English Premier League, conceding 13 goals in the process. They will hope to return to winning ways when the tackle City on neutral ground – Wembley stadium.
Maurizio Sarri is sweating over Arrizabalaga’s fitness level and he could turn to second-choice goalie Willy Caballero, should the young Spaniard fail to pass his late fitness test.
Pedro and Davide Zappacosta are major doubts for today’s clash as both players are not in good shape.
Underwhelming Jorginho, Eden Hazard and winter signing Gonzalo Higuain are set to return to Chelsea’s starting XI.
In-form Ross Barkley might be in the Blues starting lineup following his recent exploit with the West London outfits, therefore, Real Madrid loanee Matteo Kovacic is set to return to the substitute bench.
Caballero; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Barkley; Willian, Higuain, Hazard