February 22nd, 2018
The English Football League will be handing out the silverware this Sunday (11:30 AM ET, ESPN) when Manchester City and Arsenal meet in the EFL Cup final at Wembley. This is the third-most important domestic competition in England, open to anyone in the top four divisions; City are heavy –175 favorites at press time, followed by Arsenal at +425 and the draw at +335.
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It’s already been a remarkable season for Manchester City. They’re bossing the Premiership with 23 wins, three draws and just one defeat; the Gunners (13W, 6D, 8L) are sixth on the table, seven points behind Tottenham Hotspur for automatic qualification into the Europa League. Winning the EFL Cup would also qualify Arsenal for European club competition. City are headed for the Champions League, so they have less incentive to win Sunday’s match.
That doesn’t mean they won’t try. City lost 1-0 to Wigan Athletic (currently in League One) during their fifth-round FA Cup match last Monday, ending their hopes of completing a historic “quadruple” by sweeping all four major trophies. Sunday will be their first match since that disappointing upset, and they won’t play again until March 1 when they visit Arsenal in the Premiership.
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