In less than a week’s time, the League Cup final (Sunday, 11:30 am ET) went from carrying substantial weight for both Manchester City and Tottenham, to being a virtual afterthought given the events at each club, and around Europe, this week.
Heading into Saturday, Manchester City were on a quadruple quest until Chelsea dumped them out of the FA Cup semifinal. On its own, the League Cup will have meant the least of the quartet to Pep Guardiola and Manchester City, as they have already won that particular trophy five times in seven seasons.
Make no mistake: completing the treble would be an incredible achievement as well, but the blue half of Manchester knows that Premier League-Champions League-FA Cup — as Manchester United achieved in 1999 — will always top any combination featuring the EFL Cup.
And then there’s Tottenham, who a week ago might have considered keeping manager Jose Mourinho in the job to start next season if he made good on his no. 1 objective: claim the club’s first trophy since 2008. Alas, Mourinho didn’t survive until Sunday’s showpiece at Wembley Stadium after another disappointing draw in the Premier League, opening the door for 29-year-old interim manager Ryan Mason to begin his coaching career in a thoroughly memorable manner.
All of that intrigue without a mention of Manchester City and Tottenham’s involvement in the failed European Super League plot — all of which transpired, again, in the last handful of days. To say this week has felt like a year in the footballing world would be an understatement, but what does that make Tottenham’s trophy drought for the north London faithful?
The potential absence of Harry Kane (ankle) will be a major storyline until the moment starting lineups are unveiled on Sunday. Tottenham’s star man added two more goals in Mourinho’s final game, bringing his Premier League tally to 21 (plus 13 assists), but Kane missed the side’s 2-1 victory over Southampton on Wednesday.
Team news: Manchester City – Tottenham (INJURY REPORT)
OUT: John Stones (suspension)
OUT: Ben Davies (calf), Matt Doherty (knock)
The boys going into battle! 💙
XI | Steffen, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Fernandinho (C), Gundogan, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Foden, Sterling
SUBS | Ederson, Ake, Jesus, Aguero, Zinchenko, Rodrigo, Bernardo, Torres, Mendy
— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 25, 2021
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) April 25, 2021
Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)
Manchester City (-195) | Tottenham (+500) | Draw (+340)
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How to watch Manchester City – Tottenham, EFL Cup final
Kickoff: 11:30 am ET Sunday
Stream: Online via ESPN.com