Maurizio Sarri’s time at Chelsea may be at an end. Sarri was brought in from Napoli to replace the embattled Antonio Conte in Roman Abramovich’s latest game of managerial musical chairs, but the results have started to tail off. After a strong start to the season, Chelsea are now outside of the top four in the Premier League, and the Blues have lost by multiple goals in three of their last six games. A multiple goal loss in the Carabao Cup Final to Manchester City where he plays Sarri-ball will likely mean an end to his time at Stamford Bridge.
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Bet on the Carabao Cup Final at Betcris
Manchester City vs Chelsea
- Date and Time: February 24, 2019, 11:30 a.m. ET
- Location: Wembley Stadium, London, England
- US Television Coverage: ESPN Plus
- Betting Line: Manchester City -1, O/U 2.5 and 3
Manchester City have a chance to win an unprecedent quadruple this season. City are just behind Liverpool in the Premier League race, and they are right in the thick of things in both the FA Cup and the Champions League. They have been dominant once more after some woes in December and January, and their last four matches against domestic foes have ended up in multiple goal wins.
The last time City faced Chelsea it ended up with the worst loss in Chelsea’s recent history. Sergio Aguero notched a hat trick, Raheem Sterling tallied a brace, and Ilkay Gundogan added another goal in a 6-0 smash. City had four goals in the first 25 minutes, and it was all she wrote from there.
As for Chelsea, they are still alive in the Europa League, but the Blues have lost to Bournemouth 4-0 and Manchester United 2-0 and there are really valid questions regarding whether or not Sarri is deploying his team the best way possible.
Reserve goalkeeper Claudio Bravo is a long-term injury for Manchester City, and three other players are probably going to miss this match too. Benjamin Mendy has been out for a bit with a meniscus issue, while Gabriel Jesus is dealing with a thigh injury and John Stones has a groin problem.
Marco van Ginkel is a long-term injury for Chelsea. Gary Cahill and Daniel Drinkwater are both injured as well and won’t play in this match, while Pedro and Davide Zappacosta are questionable. Star goalkeeper Kepa is doubtful to play because of a hamstring injury and not having him available would be huge.
Chelsea Player to Watch
N’Golo Kante is the best defensive midfielder in the world, but like Jose Mourinho with Paul Pogba, Sarri continues to try to force him into an uncomfortable role. Kante has been asked to play more of an offensive role, and while he has flourished at times, it’s clear that he is better as a defensive midfielder than as an attacker. It will be interesting to see whether or not Sarri changes tack and has Kante break up attacks in the midfield here.
Manchester City Player to Watch
Sergio Aguero has to be the man to watch for the Citizens after his hat trick last time. He makes it look all too easy with the help of a fantastic set of midfielders, and his finishing has been clinical. Aguero is tied with Mo Salah for the Premier League lead in goals with 17, and he could win the Golden Boot.
Carabao Cup Final Free Picks
This is going to be all Manchester City. Sarri does not strike me as a manager that will change his strategy even though the entire world knows he needs to, and instead he will go down swinging. It won’t be 6-0, but City will win in a laugher.
Carabao Cup Final Prediction: Manchester City 3, Chelsea 0
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