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Carabao Cup

Preview: Arsenal v Manchester City

Looking ahead to Sunday's 2018 Carabao Cup Final

25 February 2018

It all comes down to this.

Ninety-two clubs have played their part in a thrilling Carabao Cup campaign, but now only two remain. Arsenal and Manchester City go head-to-head at Wembley Stadium, with the sole aim of lifting the first piece of silverware of 2017/18.

Match information: Click here for timings, travel information and more

ROAD TO THE FINAL

Arsenal

Round Three: Arsenal 1-0 Doncaster Rovers
Round Four: Arsenal 2-1 Norwich City
Found Five: Arsenal 1-0 West Ham United
Semi-Final First Leg: Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal
Semi-Final Second Leg: Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea (Arsenal win 2-1 on aggregate)

Top scorers:
Eddie Nketiah – 2
Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck, Granit Xhaka – 1

Manchester City

Round Three: West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Manchester City
Round Four: Manchester City 0-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers (Man City win 4-1 on penalties)
Found Five: Leicester City 1-1 Manchester City (Man City win 4-3 on penalties)
Semi-Final First Leg: Manchester City 2-1 Bristol City
Semi-Final Second Leg: Bristol City 2-3 Manchester City

Top scorers:
Leroy Sane – 3
Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero – 2
Bernardo Silva – 1

HEAD-TO-HEAD

This competition

Arsenal 5
Manchester City 2
Draws 1 (Arsenal won the replay 1-0)

Arsenal lead the way historically, but the two Manchester City wins have been the two most recent meetings.

Sergio Aguero netted the only goal in a 2011 Round Five tie at the Emirates, and ran out 3-0 winners a couple of years earlier thanks to Carlos Tevez, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Vladimir Weiss.

Vincent Kompany, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey featured that day, and all three are in line to play in this year's Final.

Arsenal's last win came in 2004, when Daniel Karbassiyoon's fine strike proved decisive in a 2-1 triumph at the Etihad.

Recent times

In the Premier League, Manchester City ran out 3-1 winners in the only meeting so far this term, with De Bruyne, Aguero and Gabriel Jesus on target.

The Gunners have definitely got the edge at Wembley, though. They won the FA Cup Semi-Final 2-1 last season, and eased to a 3-0 Community Shield triumph back in 2014.

All-time

Arsenal – 97
Manchester City – 51
Draws – 45

STORY OF THE SEASON

Arsenal began the season in style, lifting the Community Shield with a 4-1 win over Chelsea at Wembley, but things haven't gone quite to plan since.

After lifting three of the last four FA Cups, Arsenal's defence of the trophy ended at the first possible stage, suffering a shock defeat at Nottingham Forest in Round Three.

The Gunners are sixth in the table, seven points adrift of fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur and eight shy of Chelsea, who currently hold the much-coveted fourth spot.

They are in a good position in the Europa League, however, winning 3-0 at Ostersunds in the first leg of their Round Two tie and set for further progression. Should Arsene Wenger's side go on to claim the crown, they will book themselves a slot in next year's Champions League.

Up until Monday night, Manchester City were dreaming of an unprecedented feat in English football – the quadruple.

Wigan Athletic ended their hopes in the FA Cup, but that was just their second defeat of a phenomenal 2017/18. Pep Guardiola has led his side to the top of the Premier League, where they hold a seemingly unassailable 16-point lead ahead of city rivals Manchester United.

They are also going strong in the Champions League, all but guaranteed a quarter-final place after dismantling FC Basel 4-0 in Switzerland last week, so a first European Cup success remains a possibility.

MATCH OFFICIALS

Craig Pawson will referee the 2018 Carabao Cup Final, which will be the first major final in English football to utilise a Video Assistant Referee (VAR). Neil Swarbrick will operate as the VAR.

Pawson has refereed three Manchester City matches this term, all of which have resulted in City wins. The Sheffield-born official has taken charge of two Arsenal matches, the Gunners winning one and losing one.

To see who will be joining Pawson and Swarbrick, click here.


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