Manchester United and Southampton face off in a cup final for the first time since 1976. But unlike that day, when Saints secured FA Cup glory, all the signs point towards a win for Jose Mourinho’s men.
Three victories on the bounce at Wembley in the past 12 months, a fine run of form and the services of one of world football’s finest strikers all make the 3/4 for United to win the EFL Cup Final in 90 minutes look like something of a banker.
But with modest profits available for the Red Devils just to win, the best value could lie elsewhere. Here are Ladbrokes News’ top three selections for backing Jose Mourinho’s men this weekend.
Swedish ace flourishes in cup finals. Zlat’s a fact.
It’s fair to say that those who questioned Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s age and fitness ahead of his first season in the Premier League have gone a little quiet since. He’s netted 23 goals and counting so far, including five occasions where he’s managed a brace or hat-trick.
Oh, and in case that didn’t worry Claude Puel’s men enough, the former Paris Saint-Germain ace has serious cup final pedigree. He netted twice in PSG’s 4-1 demolition of Marseille in last season’s Coupe de France final, while he also grabbed a brace in the 2015 Coupe de la Ligue showpiece against Bastia.
That means the Evens for Ibra to net anytime against Saints could well prove popular, but we reckon the best value is on him getting multiple goals.
Prior history points to plenty of goals
United may have generally enjoyed the upper hand in this fixture, but they rarely finish the game with a clean sheet. In their last six victories over the south coast outfit, United have conceded in five – and Saints have actually scored on four of their last five visits to Old Trafford.
That means that while the North-West giants should come out on top here, fans of Puel’s side should at least have something to cheer on the day, especially with January signing Manolo Gabbiadini grabbing three goals in his first two games for the club.
Top Bet: Man United to win and BTTS @ 3/1
Don’t back it to be tight, though
While we think Saints will probably get on the scoresheet, there’s also plenty of reason to think United could well win by a pretty comfortable margin.
Nine of the Red Devils’ last 11 victories have come by more than one goal, including 3-0 routs over Leicester City and Saint-Etienne.
For their part, Southampton have endured a 5-0 defeat to Arsenal and a 3-1 defeat to West Ham United during the past month, so if United can get ahead early, it’s likely they’ll cruise to victory from there.
Top Bet: Man United -1 @ 21/10
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing