A mouthwatering final of the 2016-17 EFL Cup takes place at Wembley on Sunday February 26 and we have picked out our three best bets for the showdown between Manchester United and Southampton.
EFL Cup final betting tips
1) Manchester United to win in 90 minutes @ 21/20 with Stan James
For whatever reason, Stan James have taken a view on the final and decided they want to lay United to win in 90 minutes, being the only bookmaker at the time of writing happy to offer odds-against about the Red Devils when others are going as short as 3/4.
It’s not an error because Stans have cut Southampton to 14/5, which are the shortest odds available so they clearly fancy the underdogs. But if, as we do, you expect United’s greater quality to prevail, you simply have to take the 21/20 about a routine win for the favourites.
This is based on United’s recent defensive record in particular because they had kept four consecutive clean sheets going into their Europa League home match against St Etienne.
Backers of ‘No’ in the BTTS market would also have cleaned up on Southampton starting with the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final against Liverpool, for a clean sheet was kept either by Saints or their opponents seven times in nine matches starting with that fixture.
Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea catches the ball during a training session (Getty Images)
To summarise our views on the final, it’s very difficult to know which Southampton will turn up because they can be excellent – as they have been throughout their run to Wembley – or dreadful, such as when losing 5-0 at home to Arsenal in the FA Cup.
Saints have become a notoriously unpredictable side under manager Claude Puel and their performances can vary greatly from week to week, with that inconsistency reflected in their mid-table Premier League position which means they have gone backwards somewhat from when Ronald Koeman was in charge.
Jose Mourinho, meanwhile, is a real League Cup expert having won the competition three times with Chelsea and he can add a fourth medal to his tally by opening his trophy account with the club he joined last summer.