Nobody in football could have predicted that Swansea City and Bradford City would challenge for the first piece of domestic silverware this season.
On Sunday, though, the two unlikely finalists will battle it out for League Cup glory and a spot in the Europa League.
Given that both sides enjoyed shock victory after shock victory on the road to Wembley, picking bets for this weekend’s game may seem a little difficult, but the history books as well as the form guide suggests that there is plenty of value to be had.
Michu to break the deadlock
As Swansea’s outstanding player this season, a lot of attention will be on the Spanish forward. He’s at 11/4 to score first, and with 19 goals already since moving to Wales in the summer, he will fancy his chances.
Penalties are often awarded in League Cup finals, whether during normal time or after extra time. Odds of 9/1 that a penalty will be missed are tempting, especially with a talented goalkeeper like Michel Vorm in goal.
Bantams to triumph on penos
Both Wigan and Arsenal found themselves on the receiving end of penalty shoot-out heartache against the Bantams in the League Cup this season. And the Yorkshire club are spot-kick specialists, having won the last nine in all competitions. They are 12/1 to make it 10 in a row on Sunday.
Swansea to win in extra-time
Bradford have proven to be dogged opponents for everyone they’ve played in the League Cup and will feel they can take whatever Swansea throw at them. If the game goes beyond 90 minutes, it’s possible that they could get tired, leaving the Swans the more likely to make their Premier League class show at 6/1.
Zavon Hines to score first
While Bradford’s team spirit and unity has been praised, the likes of former West Ham winger Zavon Hines have displayed plenty of individual talent. Hines is 16/1 to score first, and with fitness doubts over a couple of Swansea defenders, he has every chance.
Expects goals, goals, goals
Odds of evens might not seem too big for both teams to score, but since the League Cup final was played over one game in 1967, only one game has finished goalless – the 2009 final.
A goal to be scored in first 15 minutes
Both Swansea and Bradford are fairly attack-minded sides and will want to enjoy the occasion. This could make for a great game with plenty of chances early on, and 2/1 for a goal to be scored in the first 15 minutes seems like a bet worth having.
Swans to battle from behind and win
Bradford might be able to nick a goal early on, but Swansea’s quality should help them overcome any early surprise. Odds of 17/2 for this to happen are pretty reasonable.