After an embarrassing performance in the Europa League on Thursday, Arsenal have to bounce back immediately to face off against England’s best team, Manchester City, in the Carabao Cup final. The Gunners have had a disappointing season so far, but being able to add another trophy to their cabinet would be a bright spot in a season that continues to look like it will be devoid of happiness. They lost at Wembley Stadium for the first time in nine appearances against Tottenham on February 10th, but they are still on a nine-match winning run at Wembley as a neutral ground dating back to April 2014. That run, of course, includes their 2-1 extra time win over Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in last season’s FA Cup semi-final. That will give the Gunners a level of confidence going into the match as they will hope they come out of it with another domestic cup.
Manchester City arguably have more important games on the horizon with their Champions League run still alive and they remain heavy favourites in the Premier League. That said, their attention will be focused on winning the match on Sunday and getting their hands on their first of what they hope will be many pieces of silverware this season. City come into this match as favourites and will look to just play the same way they’ve been playing all season. That should be enough for them to walk away from Wembley with a trophy.
Arsenal got a boost as Arsene Wenger said he believes both Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey will be fit for the match. They will, however, be without new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who is cup-tied after playing in the competition for Manchester United, as well as Alexandre Lacazette and Santi Cazorla who will both miss out through injury.
Manchester City could be without Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus as both require late fitness tests, according to Physioroom.com. Benjamin Mendy will miss out as he is still recovering from his torn ACL and Fabian Delph will be suspended after his red card against Wigan in the FA Cup last weekend.
Arsenal: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Arsenal had a very busy January transfer window. That included signing one of the best strikers in Europe in Aubameyang. The Gabon international racked up the goals for Borussia Dortmund and scored on his debut for the Gunners. He will look to mark his debut at Wembley Stadium for his new team with another goal, hopefully, a winning goal. His pace and his movement will cause City’s backline problems and his connection with Ozil will likely be a crucial part of any success Arsenal have.
Manchester City: Kevin De Bruyne
Manchester City have the talent advantage in this match and one of the reasons for that is De Bruyne. He leads the Premier League in assists and is third in the Premier League in key passes per 90 minutes, according to WhoScored.com. The Belgian is one of the most creative players in the league and is a big reason why City have been able to dominate the Premier League like they have.
Arsenal may have a fantastic record at Wembley, but Manchester City are just the better team. It’s hard to see them not winning this cup and keeping their dream of the treble alive.