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Carabao Cup

Minto: “It’s going to be a fascinating Final”

29 February 2020

Today Wembley Stadium will host the 60th anniversary Final of the Carabao Cup, as Aston Villa and Manchester City battle it out for the first piece of silverware of the season.

In what is one of the biggest days on the footballing calendar, both sides have the opportunity to write their names in the history books.

"This is a really exciting time of the season,” Minto said speaking ahead of the Final.  "With the first major trophy of the season being up for grabs, there’s no doubt about it that both clubs will be so up for this today.”

Current holders and six-time winners Manchester City are favourites to lift the trophy, but Aston Villa are no strangers to the competition either, having won the trophy five times in their history. 
"There’s no doubt that Manchester City are favourites today, they’re going for a third trophy in a row, but I think Aston Villa can use that to their advantage,” he continued. 
"I think we’ll see a different Villa team here today than the one we saw when they faced each other in the league earlier this season. If the game goes to penalties I think it’s going to be really interesting.” 
Following promotion from the Sky Bet Championship last season, Dean Smith will be leading his boyhood side out at Wembley in their first season back in the Premier League, looking to win a first domestic trophy for Aston Villa in 24 years. 
"Dean Smith has done a brilliant job since he took over at Aston Villa. Last season they were almost closer to the bottom three than they were to the Play-Offs at one point, but that fantastic run resulted in promotion which was deserved and to be in a cup final in the club’s first season back in the Premier League is a great achievement. 
"Being a Villa fan himself, I think Dean Smith will feel more pressure than other Villa managers previous to him, but he’s doing a brilliant job. Today’s Final could be so important for them and give them a real boost heading into the final months of the Premier League season. But what a job he’s done there so far, a promotion last season and now a cup final. A win today would top it off for him."
Standing in Villa’s way is Manchester City and Pep Guardiola. Six-time winners of the competition, City are looking to become just the second club to win the competition in three successive years and Minto believes that Pep will do everything he can to get his hands on another trophy. 
"I think Pep has shown that any major trophy is important to him and Manchester City,” he said. 
"A win today for City could provide them with momentum as well. They are looking to win the FA Cup and the Champions League, so a win today could be really important for them. They’ve dominated the Carabao Cup in recent years, and today is made even more special as they could win three in a row."
"Pep is all about winning and ultimately he wants to win trophies, his record of winning 12 of the 13 finals he’s been involved in speaks for itself. 
"The Carabao Cup continues to produce special moments and we’ve got two huge clubs in the Final today. It will be watched worldwide by hundreds of millions of people and it’s just going to be a fascinating occasion.”
The build-up to Sunday's Final continues on social media, via @Carabao_Cup on Twitter and @TheCarabaoCup on Facebook and Instagram.

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