Man City told to forget Aston Villa star Jack Grealish in Carabao Cup final for one reason
Manchester City will have to try and break down the Aston Villa defence during the Carabao Cup final, claimed Michael Brown. Dean Smith’s side will have to make sure they’re at their very best out of possession, if they want to leave Wembley with the trophy.
City face Villa in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday afternoon, with the season’s first piece of silverware up for grabs.
Pep Guardiola’s side knocked out arch-rivals Manchester United in the semi-finals.
Villa, meanwhile, overcame a tough battle against Leicester City over two legs to guarantee a place at Wembley.
The Citizens go into the tie as hot favourites, but Brown warned City that they could find it difficult to break Villa down.
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It’s crucial that Villa remain organised throughout the tie, and hope that City have an ‘off’ day, he said.
“I think they’ll have to be tight; they’ll have to get into a good shape out of possession,” Brown told Express Sport.
“They’ve got to hope that City have a bit of an off day, and then they’ve got to be at their best.
“We’ve seen a lot of teams start with a back five to try and frustrate City, and they could possibly try and do that.
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“But, again, it’s scoring goals. I know everyone’s talking up Jack Grealish for that creativity, but they’re going to have to be excellent out of possession.
“Limit the opportunity, and hopefully counter, and take the chances when they get them.”
City could make a number of changes to their starting line-up from the trip to Madrid, during the week.
Guardiola chose to leave out star striker Sergio Aguero against Real Madrid, as well as David Silva and Raheem Sterling.
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But, Brown expects Guardiola to be more attacking for the clash against Villa.
He expects a few changes, with the focus on maintaining possession.
“I think the main talking point will be what team Manchester City will pick, with their injuries at the back,” he said.
“Will there be a few changes? I’m not sure he’ll set up like he did at Real Madrid, with no striker.
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“I’m sure he’ll be a little bit more attacking, and they’ll expect to control possession a lot better.”
City head to Wembley knowing that they haven’t been knocked out of a domestic cup competition since February 2018.
Guardiola’s side lost 1-0 against League One Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup Fifth Round.
Since then, the club have won three Carabao Cups, an FA Cup, two Premier League titles, and two Community Shields.
Watch the Carabao Cup final highlights tonight on Quest at 9pm. Catch-up and stream live on dplay.
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