City Can Win The First leg of Their Treble

City Can Win The First leg of Their Treble
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Manchester City can now only win three trophies this season and they can get the first one in the bag by beating Arsenal in the final of the EFL Cup. Arsene Wenger has never managed Arsenal to win the trophy and the club were League Cup winners in 1987 and 1993. The finalists have never met in a major final and on this occasion it’s a match City can win in normal time.

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If the scores are level after 90 minutes a further half an hour is played and if its still a stalemate the destiny of the trophy will be decided by a penalty shootout but City can win the match before then. The quadruple dream is over as City were knocked out of the FA Cup by Wigan. They cannot now emulate Manchester United and win the FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League in the same season.

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Historically, Arsenal have had the upper hand in this fixture and the better of the results over the last five years but only slightly. City won the last meeting in the Premier League last November, winning 3-1 at their own ground. However, they have won just two of the last 10 meetings, Arsenal have won four and there have been four draws. Over that spell Arsenal have scored 18 goals and conceded 14.


Winning the EFL Cup provides a route into the Europa League and the winners of that competition progress to the Champions league. For the first time as manager Arsene Wenger has not led Arsenal into the Champions league. In the past he may have scoffed at the secondary European competition but this now provides Arsenal’s best chance of playing Champions League football next season.

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Jose Mourinho targeted the Europa League last season when he realised Manchester United were unlikely to finish in the top four and the Champions League qualification places. Wenger will probably do the same but winning the EFL Cup will help if he wants to stay at the club. He seems to have used up all his lives but survives each crisis and gets the backing of the board.

Pep Guardiola is the outsider of 20 managers in the betting to be the next Premier League to lose their job. He is a serial multi-trophy winner and is proven at the highest level as the coach for Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Its players and not tactics that win matches but it will be an interesting academic tactical battle between Wenger and Guardiola as they grew up and leant their trade in different eras.


Form can go out of the window in Cup Finals but man-for-man City are the best team. They are the champions elect while Arsenal are scrapping to qualify for the Europa League. There are 27 points between the teams in the current standings and that is a huge amount after that number or matches. City can confirm league placings and beat Arsenal in the final of the EFL Cup at Wembley on Saturday.

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