Manchester United vs Southampton and betting tips for their EFL Cup final fixture on Sunday 26th February at 4:30pm. Which side will lift the EFL trophy at Wembley on Sunday?
Jose Mourinho will be looking to add to the Community Shield he won back in August this weekend when his side face-off with Southampton for the EFL trophy. United have defeated Northampton, Manchester City, West Ham and Hull on their road to Wembley and they are in great form coming into this final. United will be seeking a fifth trophy in this competition this weekend as they previously won it for the forth time back in 2010 in a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa.
Claude Puel’s Southampton have had a slightly tougher run to get to Wembley. The Saints have faced Crystal Palace, Sunderland, Arsenal and Liverpool to get to the final, and impressively, Southampton are yet to concede in this competition ahead of their final on Sunday. Southampton’s last major Cup final was back in 2003 and they fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat to Arsenal, the Saints will want to put that right this weekend and win their first major trophy since 1976.
United have been in excellent form recently. Jose Mourinho’s men have only lost once in 24 outings and that was their second-leg against Hull, which they went into the match with a 2-0 aggregate lead. The Reds have won their last five matches and only conceded one goal in that win-streak. Meanwhile for Southampton, they lost three consecutive matches before their 4-0 win against strugglers Sunderland. The Saints have yet to concede a goal on their road to Wembley and they have faced both Liverpool and Arsenal, so they can be hard to break down at times. If Southampton emulate their recent EFL Cup performances, then I think it’ll be struggle for Manchester United in 90 minutes, but if Southampton perform like they have prior to their Sunderland victory, it will be difficult for the Saints to keep United at bay. The Red Devils certainly know what it means to be at Wembley, and seeing as though they have won two FA Cups and two Community Shield’s in their last four matches there, I am going to back United to once again lift the silverware on Sunday. I feel United will get the job done inside 90 minutes due to the form they are in, which is why my first Man United vs Southampton betting tip for the EFL Cup final is going to be Manchester United to win, which is best valued at 4/5 with Bet365.
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Southampton are certainly not renowned for conceding many goals, but since Van Dijk was injured and Jose Fonte left the Saints, they have struggled. The game after Van Dijk was injured, Claude Puel’s side managed to secure a 1-0 victory at Anfield, which indicates they can stay resolute in defence, however, they then lost three in a row and conceded 10 goals in the process, which is a big concern for Southampton. Their win at Sunderland will certainly give the side some confidence going into their final this weekend, and they will want to make history this weekend by not conceding a goal throughout their entire EFL Cup run. Unfortunately for Southampton, I cannot see them keeping a clean sheet seeing as though United have scored at least once in 25 of their last 26 matches. Their road to Wembley has been very impressive and they will certainly not go down without a fight. I expect United to win, but I expect it to be a close encounter. My second Man United vs Southampton prediction for Sunday’s League Cup final is Manchester United to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1, which is best valued at 6/4 with Sky Bet.
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Zlatan Ibrahimovic has continued his impressive goalscoring record for Manchester United over the last 10 days or so. The Swede netted a hattrick against St Ettiene last week before netting the winner against Blackburn on Sunday. Those goals have moved Ibrahimovic up to 25 for the season, and he will definitely be looking for another goal at Wembley like his winner against Leicester back in August for the Community Shield. United’s top scorer netted a brace against Southampton back in August, and this weekend I expected him to get on the scoresheet against the Saints again. My final Manchester United vs Southampton tip for Sunday’s clash is going to be Ibrahimovic to score anytime, best valued at 13/10 with Betfair.
The main injury concern for Jose Mourinho is Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Armenian limped off in United’s Europa League victory over Saint-Ettiene on Wednesday and is not expected to be a part of the squad on Sunday. Michael Carrick also limped off with a calf problem and the Englishman is doubtful for the final.
For Claude Puel, he will still be without his main defender Virgil Van Dijk as the Dutch international is expected to be out for around two months. Sofiane Boufal missed the Saints’ win at the Stadium of Light almost two weeks ago, and may not recover in time for this weekend. Charlie Austin will also miss out as the striker has a shoulder injury and is expected to return around April.
United won the last meeting between the sides 2-0, thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace. Before that victory, the Saints had won back-to-back games at Old Trafford. Before their first win at Old Trafford in 2015, the Red Devils were unbeaten in nine and won seven in the process. The sides have never met in a Cup match before they meet this weekend.
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