The Carling Cup Final is now upon us with Manchester United & Aston Villa all set to do battle in what looks guaranteed to be a fascinating, enthralling & intense footballing spectacle.
Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United & Martin O’Neill at Aston Villa, are two incredibly experienced, proud & talented managers who want to win & they have fantastic squads packed with top quality players so this really should be a game for everybody to enjoy.
We have had a good look at how we think the teams will perform, how they will approach this match tactically & how we think in general the match will go with the value betting recommendations we think are worth consideration:
Manchester United vs Aston Villa – (Sunday 3.00pm)
The Carling Cup is ranked 4th behind the F.A. Cup, Premier League & Champions League in terms of profile & it has had it’s fair share of knockers & negative press in recent years but that won’t matter an ounce come 3.00pm on sunday afternoon as Manchester United & Aston Villa step on to the Wembley turf ready to do battle in what looks set to be a really interesting, competitive game of football.
The footballing world will be focused on Wembley to watch Manchester United & Aston Villa do battle with Sir Alex Ferguson & Martin O’Neill both fully determined to win the first available trophy of the season.
Alex Ferguson & Martin O’Neill have both done well in this competition & it is certainly very important to both sides to win a trophy so we expect both Manchester United & Aston Villa to give absolutely everything here.
In terms of the history between these two clubs, then Manchester United had dominated games between the two sides for many years but Aston Villa made their mark by beating Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford & held them to a 0-0 draw a few weeks ago but whether any of that has an impact here is doubtful.
This match is about what happens on the day & tactically it is going to be fascinating, competitive contest with plenty of quality in both sides.
It is hard to predict exactly which players will line up for both Manchester United & Aston Villa but what we do know is whichever players do get to play will be top quality players who all have the ability to influence the match.
Wayne Rooney has been the star of the show for Manchester United this season with his tremendous goals return & all round performance levels as good as they have ever been & he will obviously be the focus of attention come sunday.
Rooney is certainly a red hot candidate for goalscoring honours in this match & he will be totally motivated to put on a show but it is not just a one man show at United & there are many more quality players who will want to have their say.
It will be interesting to see who plays in goal for Manchester United as Alex Ferguson has stated that he may rest Van de Sar which probably means Ben Foster will get the chance to be a Carling Cup Final hero again just like he was last season & impress the England management to try & push for a World Cup spot.
Nemanja Vidic has been missing for large parts of the season but he is a key part of the United defence & he will be determined to give his best to keep Villa out while Patrice Evra is a born winner who gives absolutely everything & will keep going for the entire 90 minutes & beyond if needed.
Midfield selection is also going to be important in this match & it will be fascinating to see who Alex Ferguson goes for but we are expecting Michael Carrick & Darren Fletcher to be in there with Darren Gibson, Paul Scholes & Antonio Valencia all in the mix as well.
For Aston Villa it will be all about how their key players perform in this match & most notably the spine of the team which is rock solid & dependable.
Brad Friedel is one of the top keepers in the Premier League, Richard Dunne & James Collins have been one of the most reliable & solid defensive partnerships all season while Petrov & James Milner have provided great presence, quality & physical energy from midfield to help support Gabriel Agbonlohar who is a tremendous goal threat with amazing pace & is developing all the time as a striker.
Those players have all been superbly supported by the likes of Ashley Young, Stewart Downing, Stephen Warnock, Carlos Cuelar, John Carew & Emile Heskey and whichever team Martin O’Neill puts forward, they will be tremendously well organised & committed to testing Manchester United all the way.
Both Manchester United & Aston Villa are superb at counter attacking so it will be fascinating to see how the game develops because both teams will be aware of each others threats which could mean they cancel each other out but hopefully not too much that it affects the game in a bad way.
The prize at stake & the importance of winning means that both teams are likely to be cautious for the first 10-20 minutes because they will not want to throw the chance of winning away early in the match but both teams are good enough to create chances while keeping it tight so that will make it very interesting.
In terms of making this game an enjoyable spectacle, then the best thing that can happen is for an early goal to be scored because that will open up the game & given how strong both Manchester United & Aston Villa are on the counter attack the first goal could well be the crucial factor in this match.
This has definitely got the makings of being an excellent final given the quality within both squads & we don’t expect there to be too much between the sides on the day but we like the price of Manchester United to win in 90 minutes & they look worth a bet to take the prize with Rooney likely to be the inspiration once again.
Outright Match Result: Manchester United win
Correct Score options: Manchester United to win 2-0/2-1
First Goalscorer each way/Player to score anytime: Rooney/Gibson/Valencia
Scorecast options: Rooney/Gibson/Valencia score 1st & Man United win 2-0/2-1
Wincast (player to score & team to win): Rooney & Man United
Double Result: Man United H/T & F/T