Capital One Cup

Liverpool v Man City: Back goals in the Capital One Cup final

Jurgen Klopp took the helm at Liverpool in October
Jurgen Klopp took the helm at Liverpool in October


"Overall the League Cup Final has been incredibly good to those who love watching a goal or two go in. An incredible ten of the last 12 finals have gone over the 2.5 goal threshold, yet Overs still trades at a very generous 1.981/1 at time of writing."

It's time to award the first trophy of the domestic season! Liverpool and Man City will duke it out at Wembley on Sunday afternoon for the League Cup. Luke Moore looks at the betting...

Liverpool v Man City
Sunday February 28, 16:30
Live on Sky Sports 1


Liverpool

In a season of transition for Liverpool, an appearance in a cup final will surely go down as a bonus for Jurgen Klopp and his men, but no doubt Klopp will be more than keen to do something that his predecessor Brendan Rodgers wasn't able to in his three and a half seasons at the club and lift a trophy.

Dogging Klopp since his appointment has been a problem of consistency, which makes them a very hard team to predict from a betting and performance point of view - in the Reds' last ten league games they've won four, lost four and drawn two. In February alone they have put in a bizarre selection of performances, hammering Aston Villa 0-6 after losing comprehensively to Leicester and drawing with a poor Sunderland side. It is almost impossible to predict which version of this team will turn up.

One positive is that, despite their problems earlier in the season, the injury issue appears to have cleared up somewhat and only Adam Lallana, Martin Skrtel and Joe Allen are first team regulars that are out injured.


Man City

Manchester City go into this showpiece occasion on the back of two straight defeats in the league and another heavy reversal in the FA Cup at the hands of Chelsea. They of course tempered that disappointment somewhat against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League but, in truth, Dynamo are out of nick and haven't played in their domestic competition since December.

A lot of City's fortunes rest on a number of key issues going into this game: How match-fit is Vincent Kompany? How motivated is Yaya Toure? Is Willy Caballero going to start in goal? Well, the answers, in sequence, appear to be: Fairly, but not 100%, difficult to say and probably, yes. It's hard to make a case for Caballero starting in goal being a positive, City fans will have to hope that Yaya fancies this one as it's a cup final, and they'll also be crossing their fingers that Kompany's body hold up to the test as their other central defenders aren't up to standard. It's a sad indictment of one of the world's richest clubs that their personnel issues are so prevalent.

Fabian Delph, Jesus Navas, Kevin De Bruyne and Wilfried Bony are all likely to miss the game through injury.


Match Odds

Man City go into this game as favourites at 2.3411/8. Liverpool are far longer at 3.45. For me, this is a pick 'em game though - there are obvious flaws around personnel and form across both sides yet, conversely, both are capable of pulling out huge performances when it suits them. Seems like a while ago now, but the Reds absolutely destroyed City 1-4 on their own patch back in November and clearly have what it takes to do so again if the stars align.

I can't really make a case for playing in the Match Odds market because it's hard to say which of these teams will turn up. If I was going to have a bet based on value though, I'd plump for Liverpool.

The Draw trades at 3.55/2.


Over/Under 2.5 Goals

Overall the League Cup Final has been incredibly good to those who love watching a goal or two go in. An incredible ten of the last 12 finals have gone over the 2.5 goal threshold, yet Overs still trades at a very generous 1.981/1 at time of writing. If that price stays around, it should be backed; both teams have defensive errors in them across their entire rearguards, and they're also packed with attacking quality.

What's more, I don't see a Jurgen Klopp team looking to shut up shop, and it's doubtful they'd even be able to with Dejan Lovren possibly out and Martin Skrtel definitely missing the game. I wouldn't put you off Both Teams to Score either, although that is only available at a shorter 1.758/11, currently.


Penalty Taken?

I am focusing quite a lot of the haplessness of the defensive players that will be on display on Sunday, but bear with me. The sense of occasion and pressure does get into minds and do funny things, and it's worth a little dabble in the Penalty Taken? market at a nice price of around 4.03/1, given we're likely to see a lot of attacking from both sides and a lot of action in the two penalty areas.


Recommended Bets

Back Over 2.5 Goals at 1.981/1
Back Yes in Penalty Taken? market at 4.03/1


For Michael Lintorn's article on Capital One Cup Final trends, click here


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