Manchester City will face Aston Villa this Sunday in the League Cup final at Wembley Stadium with Pep Guardiola’s side heavy favourites to retain the trophy for the third time in successive seasons. With City predicted to win comfortably, can Aston Villa cause a shock? Read on to inform your Manchester City vs. Aston Villa predictions.
Date and time: Sunday, March 1, 16:30 (UTC)
Venue: Wembley Stadium
A close look at the Manchester City vs. Aston Villa odds
Pinnacle’s odds suggest City have an 85% chance of victory, with Aston Villa given just a 5% chance.
Manchester City are firm favourites at 1.146*, equating to an approximate 85% chance of victory, whereas Aston Villa are underdogs at a huge 20.120*, which translates to around just a 5% chance. The market rates a draw as just under a 10% possibility and is available at 8.470*.
The Over/Under Goals is set at 3.5, with 2.040* for over and 1.840* for under. Manchester City are 1.990* to win with a -2.25 handicap, while Aston Villa are available at 1.917* with a +2.25 handicap.
Manchester City Expected Goals (xG)
In terms of expected goals Manchester City have been very unlucky this season in the Premier League, a lot of matches they have dominated from start to finish, but they have failed to make their superior chances created count. Based on chances created in these matches this season, and according to expected points, Manchester City should be top of the Premier League, ahead of Liverpool, having created chances equating to 2.87 xGF per game and allowed 1.08 xGA per game this season.
Aston Villa Expected Goals (xG)
Dean Smith’s side have been poor this season, and they currently rank as the worst defensive team in the Premier League but the Midlands club have been a much better attacking team than their relegation rivals, creating plenty of chances and scoring goals (1.53 xGF per game), and that attacking threat does give them a chance in a one-off final, despite facing a far superior side in Manchester City.
Manchester City vs. Aston Villa predicted lineupsManchester City Predicted Lineup: Bravo; Walker, Otamendi, Laporte, Stones; Mahrez, Rodri, Gundogan; Bernardo Silva, Foden, Gabriel Jesus.
Aston Villa Predicted Lineup:Nyland, Hause, Engles, Mings, Elmohamady, Drinkwater, Hourihane, Trezeguet, Nakamba, Samatta, Grealish.
Is Gabriel Jesus the main threat?Manchester City have won four of the last six League Cup trophies, and also are currently the holders of the FA Cup, beating Watford 6-0 in last season’s final, which highlights how strong the Citizens are at Wembley Stadium in Cup finals.
In those finals, City have also scored 13 times and conceded just two goals, making them a near-perfect cup final side in the present era.
"Gabriel Jesus, has scored plenty of goals when called upon, and the Brazilian could well be the key man for City should he be picked to start"
Villa head into the final in very poor Premier League form, but they have shown improved displays in this competition so far, most notably beating in-form Leicester City over two legs to reach the final.
Dean Smith will need to set his side up to strike a perfect balance between applying pressure on City’s (sometimes leaky) defence, and working in numbers to nullify City’s attacks as best as they can on the counter, using Jack Grealish as their main output.
If they can manage to do that, and ride their luck at times, then it might be possible for the underdogs to spring a surprise but they would need to perform to the best of their ability and hope that Manchester City have an off day in front of goal, based on both sides’ form this season overall.
Sergio Aguero is often the main striker for Pep Guardiola’s side but with a key Champions League tie in midweek away to Real Madrid the Spanish manager might opt to start with Gabriel Jesus, who has scored plenty of goals when called upon, and the Brazilian could well be the key man for City should be picked to start.
Manchester City vs. Aston Villa: Where is the value?
Everything points to Manchester City lifting the trophy for the third time in as many years against Aston Villa. With Liverpool dominating the Premier League this season, Pep Guardiola will want to send out a strong side and make sure City win the first piece of silverware on offer for English clubs.
Manchester City are the Premier League’s top scorers (68) and Aston Villa currently have the worst defensive record (52) in the league, so this is certainly a final that could see some goals. Adding to that, Aston Villa have lost seven of the clubs' last eight meetings with Manchester City, and with so much talent to call upon outside of their regular starting eleven the -2.25 handicap at odds of 1.990* could also represent value to bettors.
You can check out all of the latest odds and markets for Manchester City vs. Aston Villa here.