Henry Winter has spent the majority of the football season paying close attention to Arsenal and Manchester City, and he is expecting big things when the two meet in Sunday's Carabao Cup Final.
The EFL spoke to the The Times’ Chief Football Writer ahead of the fixture, and he discussed the importance of picking up the three-handled trophy from both teams’ perspective. Whatever happens under the Wembley arch, he’s expecting a game overflowing with quality.
“It’s going to be a footballing spectacular,” Winter beamed. “For Arsene Wenger and Arsenal, they need a trophy. The FA Cup has been good to them over recent years, but picking up this year’s Carabao Cup would be a huge statement.
“Likewise for Manchester City. After losing to Wigan on Monday night, they’ll be determined to get back out there and show how good they really are.
“In regards to the football that will be played, this could be an absolute classic.”
His thoughts forward towards the action on the pitch was what really got Winter going. Both sides are full to the brim with quality, and he can’t contain his excitement to see the action unfold.
The Citizens are 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League, and the football that Guardiola’s side has played this season has dazzled. They’ve netted 79 league goals, while only conceding 20.
Arsenal haven’t hit those heights this season, 27 points adrift of the leaders and in sixth spot, but the Gunners have excelled in cup competitions in recent times, notably winning three of the last four FA Cups.
The style of football that Wenger has always encouraged has no doubt served as an inspiration to the City boss over the years, and this game is certainly one for the football purists.
“If you were going to pick a team of the season, at least three of the front six would be City players,” continued Winter. “Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Sergio Aguero. They are three fantastic individuals who bring us to the edge of our seats. The worldwide viewing figures of this match will be huge, there are players on both sides you’d tune in for.
“For Arsenal, if you look at Mesut Ozil — five times in the last seven years he’s been Germany’s Footballer of the Year — he’s a fantastic player. He’s almost become an emotional leader of the team without the armband.
“It’s his techniques, rather than tricks; he’s always developing new ways to play-make and score. Any kid watching the game will just fall in love with it because that’s what you want to see; you want to watch Ozil, De Bruyne, Silva and Aguero on the ball.”
Sunday’s Carabao Cup Final kicks off at 4:30pm GMT, and is live on Sky Sports Main Event.
Henry Winter's thoughts on both managers can be found in the Official Carabao Cup Final Programme, which can be purchased by clicking here.