It might not be the most glamorous of cup finals, but for supporters of Manchester United and Southampton a trip to Wembley Stadium is long overdue. Both of the clubs’ managers, Jose Mourinho and Claude Puel, will want to get their hands on this EFL Cup trophy for varying reasons.
It has been quite some time since the ‘Special One’ got his hands on some silverware – the 2014/15 Premier League triumph with Chelsea was his last – and he will be itching to win over the remaining members of the United fanbase who have yet to take to his pragmatic style. In sixth place in the Premier League and two points off the Champions League places, this could be Mourinho’s finest moment in 2017.
1. Manchester United to face Southampton
As for Southampton, 2017 has been a year to forget so far. Since December 28 they have lost six of the eight matches they have played, watched their former club captain Jose Fonte get sold and then his replacement Virgil van Dijk get injured.
The Dutchman is an essential component of this Southampton defence and so his absence will be a cruel blow. But then, the Saints have upset plenty of bigger boys already in this cup run, so can they claim another famous scalp on Sunday February 26?
2. Winner Betting Odds
Given their fine record of lifting trophies in showpiece occasions, and the fact they sit some 18 points clear of Southampton in the Premier League table, you would have to assert that Manchester United’s price of 1.75 with bet365 is completely fair and excellent value – and likely to fall closer to kick off.
The Saints are outsiders here, make no mistake, and their price of 4.75 reflects that. If punters think this tie will go to extra time/penalties, then the draw can be backed at 3.50.
3. Where the Money Is
The Red Devils have triumphed in each of their last four visits to Wembley, including one FA Cup final victory, one in the League Cup and two in the Community Shield. Their pedigree at the headquarters of English football is second to none.
Southampton have won a play-off final and the Football League Trophy at Wembley in the past decade or so, but their last major cup final appearance came way back in 2003, when they lost in the FA Cup to Arsenal. Prior to that, you have to go back to 1979 to find their previous major cup final date.
So you would anticipate that the United players will feel more at home on this big stage, and that they will handle the pressure of a showpiece final better. For Southampton, their season lives or dies by this day – that is a lot for them to handle, especially without two key players in Fonte and Charlie Austin.
Seven of the last eight FA Cup finals and five of the last five EFL Cup finals have all been won by the bookmakers’ favourite; and that’s why Manchester United are such good value. Expect Jose Mourinho to be lifting his first trophy as the Reds’ boss on February 26.
The only place to wager on the EFL Cup final is bet365; especially with the 100% cash bonus thrown in when you sign up using our promo code, JBVIP.
Tags: EFL Cup 2017 final predictions, Manchester United vs Southampton EFL Cup betting tips, EFL Cup Final odds, Man Utd vs Southampton preview, League Cup 2017, live betting.