Unlike their FA Cup record, Arsenal have won the League Cup with its ever-changing sponsor names only twice, in 1987 and 1993, and have been runners-up five times. This cup is often an afterthought for teams competing in European cups and fighting for the league title, and Arsenal haven’t made it past the quarterfinals since a runners-up finish in 2011, but tomorrow’s game is still a Wembley cup final with a big piece of silverware on the line, and Arsenal have historically been quite good in those matches.
Their opponents Manchester City are running away with the league title, with a fifteen-point gap to Liverpool in second—but they are by no means invincible. They lost to Liverpool in the league, needed replays against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City in order to advance in this competition, and were bounced from the FA Cup by Wigan Athletic from League One. City are a strong team with some fantastic attacking players, and Arsenal will need to be at their absolute best tomorrow, but there is no reason to think that a win for the Gunners is impossible.
Given the nature of the game and who was rested for the match against Östersunds FK, we can expect to see quite a different lineup than the one that played on Thursday. Henrikh Mhkitaryan is cup-tied and Alexandre Lacazette is still out injured, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is available (he can play in this competition but not the Europa League, opposite to Mhkitaryan). Mesut Özil and Aaron Ramsey, who both missed the Östersunds game, will be last-minute decisions, but Arsene Wenger seemed optimistic about them in the team’s latest official update.
For City, Raheem Sterling is doubtful after picking up a muscle injury against Basel in the Champions League, and Fabian Delph is suspended thanks to his red card during their game against Wigan. Gabriel Jesus, on the other hand, could return from his MCL injury for the match. Like Özil and Ramsey, he’ll be a last-minute addition to the lineup if he’s fit to play.
WHAT: Arsenal vs. Manchester City, Carabao Cup final
WHERE: Wembley Stadium, London
WHEN: Sunday, February 25th, 8:30AM PST | 11:30AM EST | 4:30PM GMT
US TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes, streaming on WatchESPN
NOT IN THE US? Go to livesoccer.tv for streaming information.