Free tips League Cup Final: Manchester United v Southampton Match Preview and Betting Tips (4.30pm, Sunday)

The first domestic final of the final sees Manchester United take on Southampton as Jose Mourinho and Claude Puel look to register their first piece of silverware for their new club.

We take you through our predictions and betting tips for Sunday’s final at Wembley…

Past meetings

These two have never previously been paired together at any stage in the League Cup, although Manchester United have triumphed in each of the three FA Cup clashes.

The Saints have beaten United only twice in their last fifteen meetings going back to August 2003 and have lost eleven of those meetings in what has largely been a one-sided affair, although the South Coast club have won two of their last three visits to Old Trafford by a 1-0 scoreline.

Mourinho’s men ran out 2-0 victors in the clash in Manchester earlier in the campaign, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic netting a goal in either half.

Stats                                                                                                                                                                              

United have lost only one match in their last 24 across all competitions and that defeat came on the road to the final – a 2-1 loss at Hull was enough to see them progress 3-2 on aggregate last month.

Southampton’s recent form has been more of a concern, losing three of their last four although they won 4-0 at Sunderland last time out.

The Saints have never won the League Cup – losing their only final 3-2 against Nottingham Forest in 1979 and their most recent major final saw them lose 1-0 to Arsenal in the 2003 FA Cup decider.

The Football League trophy, won in 2010, is their only major trophy since their 1976 FA Cup triumph.

Mourinho has won the competition three times with Chelsea – 2005, 2007 and 2015 – and is seeking his 24th trophy win as a manager.

Team News

Phil Jones (foot injury) and Wayne Rooney (muscular) are both slight doubts, but both should be fit and available for selection.

Virgil van Dijk, Charlie Austin, Jeremy Pied and Matt Target will all miss out for the Saints, while Sofiane Boufal is all a doubt.

Match predictions

Manchester United win 17/20 – Paddy Power

Best bet

Zlatan Ibrahimovic to score 13/10 – bet365

Reason for bets

Mourinho has won all four major finals during his time in England and three of those have come in this particular competition – he has a hugely impressive track record of getting things right in the big matches and this game seems ready-made for him.

Much has changed since United’s victory over Southampton earlier in the season but the Red Devils are clear favourites for this one, while Ibrahimovic – who netted both goals in that game – will be looking to carry on his strong recent scoring record of five goals in his last four games, to take him up to 24 for the campaign.

Saints are without reliable captain and centre-half Virgil van Dijk in what is particularly damaging due to last month’s departure of Jose Fonte, so new signing Martin Caceres – who hasn’t played in over a year – may earn a start alongside either the inexperienced Josh Stevens or Maya Yoshida – United will fancy their chances of goals in this one, especially the Swedish striker.

Manchester United v Southampton match prediction

Manchester United win 17/20 – Paddy Power

Specific bet prediction

Zlatan Ibrahimovic to score 13/10 – bet365


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