Odds: Liverpool: 23/10, The Draw: 23/10, Manchester City: 23/20
The archetypal cup final contested between two of divisional behemoths tends to be a cagey, attritional affair, where the fear of defeat ensures inhibitions are kept in check.
When Liverpool face Man City in the 2015/16 Capital One Cup showpiece, though, such preconceptions will be obliterated in emphatic fashion as the goals rain down at Wembley.
Ascertaining who’s going to score the majority of them, however, remains a challenge.
Both sides’ form ledgers are littered with inconsistencies, while there is no obviously superior outfit when comparing their head-to-head records.
Believe it or not, the pair have done alright in this competition so far too, but it is in their Capital One Cup results that might hold the key as to determining a victor.
Win, Lose or Draw?
The Citizens have steamrollered their way to the final, scoring 17 goals in their five games so far.
However, they’ve not managed to keep a clean sheet, allowing a single goal in every round, aside from the semi-final first leg, in which they lost 2-1.
Such a record suggests they’re well suited to a final where the sound of rustling nets will be on repeat. City will expect to concede and won’t be disheartened if/when they do, with their ridiculously heavily artillery in line to bail them out.
Liverpool, by contrast, have scraped to the showpiece.
Their 6-1 thrashing of Southampton is the anomaly in a run of five results where they failed to score more than once, while in two rounds – the third and semis – they required penalties to progress.
Recent form paints a similar picture too, with the anomalous 6-0 demolition of Aston Villa only the second time in their last eight outings across all competitions in which they bagged multiple goals.
Their attacking output has greatly diminished since they walloped their next opponents at the Etihad earlier this season and it’s this lack of firepower that will ensure a Citizens success.
This is a shoo-in for the overs backers here for any number of reasons.
- Ten of the past 12 Capital One Cup finals have seen over 2.5 goals scored, while half of these saw the 3.5-goal barrier smashed.
- Not since January 2011 have these two served up a game that didn’t contain at least three goals, with six of the last eight seeing four or more scored.
- Only one of the five domestic cup finals both managers has contested has seen fewer than 2.5 goals scored.
Over 2.5 goals is essentially guaranteed at Wembley, but it’s worth shooting for over 3.5 with a bigger bounty on offer.
Recommended bet: Over 3.5 goals @ 21/10
Who’s going to score?
To think a goalfest is going to go down without Sergio Aguero getting in on the act is just plain stupid.
The Argentine sharpshooter arrives at Wembley in great form, having scored eight in his last seven outings, while he has two in his last three starts against Liverpool and has an identical record in this competition this term.
Recommended bet: Aguero to score first @ 6/5
In four of the previous five League Cup finals to feature Liverpool, the Reds have scored exactly two goals, but this has been enough to see them win just twice.
Having determined there’ll be goals aplenty in this one and that City are most likely to win, this is a long-odds punt that stands a fantastic chance of copping.
Recommended bet: Liverpool to score exactly two goals @ 16/5