The final of the League Cup is this Sunday, the 26th of February, kick off at 4.30pm. Manchester United take on Newcastle in what looks a tight matchup on paper. Five of the last 14 finals has gone to a penalty shootout and it would be no surprise to see another tight knit final.
Route to the final
3rd Round – Beat Aston Villa 4-2
4th Round – Beat Burnley 2-0
Quarter-final – Beat Charlton 3-0
Semi-final – Beat Nottingham Forest 5-0 on aggregate
Were made to work harder that their record suggests on the run to the final. Villa twice took the lead in their 3rd round tie while Charlton held them to 1-0 until injury time. Forest didn’t put up much of a fight over the two legs of the semi-final, however, after being 2-0 down at half time in the opening match.
Five times the winner of the League Cup, the most recent of those came in the 2016-17 season. A late winner from Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw them beat Southampton 3-2 on that occasion. A trophy early in the Erik ten Hag era would be a huge boost to the club.
Route to the final
2nd Round – Beat Tranmere 2-1
3rd Round – Drew Crystal Palace 0-0, Won 3-2 on penalties
4th Round – Beat Bournemouth 1-0
Quarter-final – Beat Leicester 2-0
Semi-final – Beat Southampton 3-1 on aggregate
A relatively easy run to the final for the Magpies, keeping four clean sheets over the six games, with four of those at home. In days gone by, Newcastle would be easy pickings when they travelled to the capital. Not this season though. Wins at Fulham and Tottenham, supplemented by a point at Arsenal in the league have shown that this Newcastle team are stronger than those past.
Hopes are high for Champions League qualification at the end of this season. A trophy would be a strong base on which to build the future of the club. This is their first final cup final since the 1998-99 FA Cup campaign and just their second League Cup decider. They lost the first of those in the 1975-76 season to Manchester City. Four-time FA Cup winners, the most recent of those in the 1954-55 campaign, can their long wait for a trophy end now?
The teams met in the Premier League back on the 16th October, a 0-0 draw the result. Just two shots on target from each side, but the woodwork was hit multiple times. That’s one of six scoreless draws that Newcastle have been part of in the league this season. United on the other hand have been full of goals in recent times.
Newcastle will come into the contest as the fresher side, United having to play on Thursday night in their Europa League clash with Barcelona. They don’t arrive in quite the same form though. A 2-0 defeat to Liverpool last weekend came after a draw at Bournemouth and a stalemate at home to West Ham. Perhaps Newcastle had one eye on this contest but they will need to up their game on those performances if they are to come out on top.
Given the recent record of these finals going to a penalty shootout, it’s a shame that we can’t supply a market for this. 9/1 United and 10/1 Newcastle to win on penalties would both have made plenty of appeal if it was there on the site.
As such. it’s the 90 minute draw result at 12/5 that looks the way to go. Under 2.5 goals at 5/6 also makes appeal given that Newcastle tend to keep things tight and the sides played out a scoreless draw earlier on in the season.