PMB: Carabao Cup final - matchday

The final part of the Pre-Match Briefing gets you ready for today's game..

• Individual lapses in several departments accounted for the crucial first three goals that led to the heavy defeat the last time we played Manchester City. Maurizio Sarri may look to change his line-up from that game with Thursday’s goalscorer Callum Hudson-Odoi, Emerson and fit-again Ruben Loftus-Cheek among his options.

• If there was anything to salvage from the defeat at the Etihad it was that for parts of the game, the tactic of pressing City’s rearguard to snatch possession worked. However, of the visitors’ 12 shots, five were blocked, four were on target and none hit the net. The Blues will have to be more efficient today.

• Sarri could also consider reverting to the formula that ended City’s 22-match unbeaten run back in December: Eden Hazard as a ‘false no.9’. At the time the Italian reflected on whether the change provided greater security higher up the pitch in wide areas. However, Gonzalo Higuain has arrived since then and, though largely isolated in the more recent City game, will be itching to return to the pitch on which he scored an equaliser and set up a winner for Juventus against Tottenham in the Champions League a year ago.


• For the Etihad match Pep Guardiola tweaked his system slightly from the 4-3-3 that lost 2-0 to Chelsea at the Bridge to a 4-1-4-1 that allowed them to bypass the Blues’ pressure when in possession and dominate the flanks, especially the Londoners’ left.

• Palace, Leicester and Newcastle are the other Premier League teams as well as Chelsea to beat Man City this season. They found routes to success by defending deeply and in numbers, then finding City frailties at the back when the opportunities to break out presented themselves.

Maurizio Sarri's pre-match quotes

‘We were lucky in the first match [in the league against City] because we were in trouble in the first half. We scored in the last minute of the first half, and then the match changed. We were unlucky in the second match, because we started very well for five minutes then we conceded a stupid goal and we were unable to react. It was a disaster.

‘The truth is in the middle. The 2-0 two months ago is not true; the 6-0 two weeks ago is not true.

‘For us in this match it’s very important to stay in the match for a long time, and then we will be able to do something.’

City boss Pep Guardiola's pre-match quotes

‘Of course it's not the most important title of the season but once we are here, in Wembley, a mythical stadium, a nice stadium, against a top side like Chelsea, we want to prepare to win the final. It's important.

‘Chelsea have played, in the last decade, a lot more finals than us and it will be an incredibly tough game for them and for us but, of course, we want to win it.’

Squad news

Kepa Arrizabalaga
Davide Zappacosta


Man City
Claudio Bravo

Benjamin Mendy
Fabian Delph
Gabriel Jesus
John Stones


Matchday weather outlook

A warm and sunny cup final afternoon at Wembley.


- Follow the game in our Match Centre

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