EFL Cup Final: Picking Value Props for Arsenal vs. Manchester City
The first major cup final of the English football season is upon us, as Arsenal and Manchester City battle it out at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Sunday for the EFL Cup.
It’s a fascinating clash between two sides whose confidence has taken a hit over the course of the last week. But who’ll be celebrating and who’ll be commiserating after Sunday’s neutral-site clash at Wembley Stadium?
Let’s take a look at the form and pick out some cup final props.
The Last Six
The last half-dozen meetings between the pair have been evenly split, with each team picking up two wins apiece along with two draws.
City protected its home turf with a defeat of Arsenal in the Premier League earlier this season, beating the Gunners 3-1 with goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero (penalty) and Gabriel Jesus.
The sides also met at Wembley Stadium in the FA Cup semifinals last April, when Arsenal came from a goal down to beat City 2-1 in extra time.
City heads into the game in an extremely rare position for them this season — on the back of a defeat.
Pep Guardiola’s side fell to only their third loss of the season when they were dramatically knocked out of the FA Cup by League 1 team Wigan Athletic on Monday night. It was one of the biggest cup shocks of recent years, and will undoubtedly have stung the City players — and their boss — who will be determined to bounce back on Sunday.
Prior to that shock FA Cup exit, City was in typically free-scoring form, hitting five past Leicester in the Premier League and four past Basel on the road in the Champions League.
Arsenal’s form has been patchy, to say the least. Arsene Wenger’s side has alternated wins and losses in their last six matches in all competitions, and in their most recent outing they lost 2-1 at home to Swedish side Ostersunds FK in the Champions League. Fortunately for Arsenal, their comfortable first-leg win ensured that their loss at home didn’t result in them being knocked out of the competition.
Player Prop Pick
If we’re looking for a player prop, we really can’t look past Sergio Aguero. The Argentinian striker is in red-hot form, having hit 14 goals since the turn of the year, finding the net in eight of City’s 12 games so far in 2018.
Aguero also has an excellent scoring record against Arsenal. He’s found the net seven times against the London side over the years, including a goal in each of his last three games against the Gunners.
He’s in form, loves scoring against Arsenal and has been a thorn in the Gunners’ side. He’s the man to back to open the scoring on Sunday at Wembley.
PICK: Sergio Aguero to score first @ +333 (William Hill)
Game Prop Pick
After a sluggish performance against Wigan in the FA Cup on Monday night, City is likely to start fast this time around and look to score early against a confidence-hit Arsenal side.
And when City gets into their rhythm, they can be almost impossible to stop. If they start fast and score early, they could go on to dominate the game.
City won both halves in their Premier League meeting earlier this season, and William Hill is offering a special enhanced-odds prop bet on Pep Guardiola’s side doing the same at Wembley this weekend.
PICK: Manchester City to win both halves @ +275 (William Hill)
Photo: Wembley Stadium via Wikimedia Commons