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The EFL Cup Final
Sunday 26th February 2017
Live at 17:30 on Sky Sports 1 HD Available with GibSat (click for details)

Manchester United v Southampton

These two sides have met 119 times in their long history. Man Utd have the better record as you would expect winning 62 of the meetings. They have drawn 29 times and Southampton have won just 28 of them.

In the League Cup they have met 5 times, they have drawn twice, Man Utd have won twice and Southampton have won once. Last time they met in this competition was back in 1991 in the quarter final,following a 1-1 draw they played a replay which saw Alan Shearer get a brace at Old Trafford for Southampton but that was not enough as Mark Hughes went 1 better and got a hat trick to secure a 3-2 win for Man Utd.

They have met once this season in the Premier League back in August at Old Trafford when Man Utd secured a 2-0 victory over the Saints with a brace from Zlatan Ibrahimovich.

Man Utd’s road to Wembley:

3rd Round > Man Utd 3-1 Northampton Town

4th Round > Man Utd 1-0 Man City

Quarter Finals > Man Utd 4-1 West Ham

Semi Final 1st Leg > Man Utd 2-0 Hull City

Semi Final 2nd Leg > Man Utd 1-2 Hull City

Southampton’s road to Wembley:

3rd Round > Southampton 2-0 Crystal Palace

4th Round > Southampton 1-0 Sunderland

Quarter Final > Southampton 2-0 Arsenal

Semi Final 1st Leg > Southampton 1-0 Liverpool

Semi Final 2nd Leg > Southampton 1-0 Liverpool

Man Utd have been in fine form of late having won 5 and drew 1 of their last 6. They are currently on an 5 game win streak in all competitions at the moment. Last time out they beat St Etienne 1-0 to seal a 4-0 aggregate win in the Europa League to see them through to the next round Mkhitaryan was the goal scorer on the night.

Southampton have been in mixed form of late winning 3 and losing 3 of their last 6 games in all competitions. Before their last game they were on a 3 game losing streak but managed to get out of that in fine form with a 4-0 away win to Sunderland. A first half brace from Gabbiadini got them on there way then an own goal from Denayer and a stoppage time Shame Long goal completed the route.

In the Premier League the sides are separated by only 5 places but a massive 18 points. Man Utd currently sit 6th and Southampton in 11th.

Man Utd have won this trophy on no fewer than 4 occasions and have finished runners up 4 times. Southampton have never won this competition, they did finish runners up back in 1979 when they lost 3-2 to Nottingham Forest.

Cup finals are always difficult to predict and the form book can normally be thrown out of the window. Here is a few reasons why you could fancy either side to win:

Man Utd

Jose Mourinho – The Special one has a real love for this cup, he has one this competition 3 times already in his short career in England. If Utd are successful here Mourinho will equal two of the biggest names in English football in winning the cup on 4 occasions, Sir Alex Ferguson and Brian Clough.

Experience – Man Utd have reached this stage on no fewer than 8 times winning 4 and losing 4. It isn’t just this competition though, Man Utd have won more than 40 major trophies over the years compared to Southampton’s lonely FA Cup win.

Squad value – Man Utd’s current squad is estemated to be the most expensive in the world and valued at over £600 million, that is 200 million more than Barcelona and over 400 million more than this weekends opponents Southampton.

Southampton

Preparation time – When the clubs take to the field it will have been 15 days since Southampton last played a game compared to United who played just 4 days before on the Wednesday evening away in France.

History – Although they have only won 1 major trophy, that win came at Wembley against the same opponents Man Utd. Southampton were a division 2 side back then and overturned the hot favourites.

The run to the final – Southampton have beaten a Premier League side in every round. Not only that they have been the underdogs on a few of those occasions especially in the latter rounds against the like of Arsenal and Liverpool.

How the bookies see it:

Man Utd are slightly odds on to win the Cup in 90 minutes and can be backed @ 4/5 with most of the firms. The draw is @11/4 best with Marathon bet and Southampton are @22/5 with a few of the firms.

There is also another market “To lift the Trophy” which takes out the draw so as long as your team lifts the trophy regardless of if its 90 minutes, extra time or penalties your bet still wins. Man Utd are @2/5 and Southampton are @2/1.

Whichever way you see it it’s going to be a brilliant final for sure.

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