Manchester United feature in a blockbuster Carabao Cup final match in football today, with the Red Devils locking horns with Newcastle United at the Wembley Stadium.
United beat Barcelona 2-1 in the second-leg of their Europa League knockout round playoff tie on Thursday, winning the tie on 4-3 aggregate.
The Catalans were in the ascendancy in the first-half after Robert Lewandowski scored a penalty goal in the 18th-minute.
Manager Erik ten Hag made some changes at the break and that brought them back in the game soon. Fred restored parity with a brilliant goal just two minutes into the second-half before Antony curled his effort around the corner to win the Europa League game for his side.
Meanwhile, Newcastle United will enter the Wembley encounter on the back of a disappointing 2-0 loss against Liverpool.
Darwin Nunez powered home the opener before Cody Gakpo added another in the 17th minute to put the Reds in a commanding position.
Things went from bad to worse for the home side as goalkeeper Nick Pope saw a red card, ruling him out of the EFL Cup final on Sunday.
However, despite being 2-0 down and reduced to 10-men, Eddie Howe’s men still played with character. They couldn’t have changed the result but it was still encouraging to see them fighting and giving their best in front of their home crowd.
United defeated one of the best European teams in Barcelona on Thursday. It was a memorable victory for the English side who have lost two Champions League finals against Barca in the past.
However, the Red Devils have no time to dwell on that as they will face Newcastle in the EFL Cup final this weekend. The last time they won this competition was in 2017 when Jose Mourinho was at the helm of affairs. That was the year when they also lifted the Europa League, beating Ajax in the final. But since then, United have failed to add a single trophy.
Sunday’s clash represents a brilliant opportunity for Manchester United to break their trophy drought.
Newcastle were mired in relegation when Eddie Howe first took over the club in November 2021. At that time, no one would have thought that they would be challenging for a top-four spot and also playing in the final of the Carabao Cup in almost a year’s time. However, that is what has exactly happened under the English boss who has completely changed the fortunes of the club.
It is now more than 50 years since Newcastle lifted a major trophy. But now they have an opportunity to create history on Sunday.
The Magpies recent form is a little concerning though, as they have claimed a single win from their previous six top-flight matches in 2023.
Following their 1-0 win over Fulham in January, Newcastle have failed to pick up full points against Crystal Palace, West Ham United and Bournemouth. They subsequently suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat against Liverpool at the weekend.
Manchester United vs Newcastle United Prediction
Nick Pope will not be available for the Magpies while Martin Dubravka is cup tied, meaning Loris Karius will play in goal on Sunday. Missing Pope is a big blow for Newcastle who have also been very unconvincing with their performances recently.
We are backing Manchester United to win at Wembley as they have been in excellent form recently.
Manchester United 3-1 Newcastle United