Photo Credits : The Guardian Dot Com
The League Cup offers football fans all the excitement of a knockout style competition, with small clubs able to reach beyond their means and take on the biggest and the best in the land - including the elite football forces of arguably the world’s best football competition, the Barclays Premier League. While there might not be a traditional giant slaying on the cards for the 2014 League Cup Final on March 2nd, the two premier league outfits shaping up for a showdown are at two very opposite ends of that elite competition.
Manchester City has had a well documented rise to good footballing fortune on the back of increased financial backing from wealthy new owners in the last few years.
The club has given a return on the investment since then, taking the league title trophy in 2012 for the first time since 1968. They’ve also got recent experience with cup finals. In 2011 Yaya Toure hit the back of the net against Stoke in the only goal of a tough-fought FA Cup final to give Man City their first trophy in a decade.
They’ll be hoping to replicate this win on March 2nd when they travel to Wembley to take on the black cats.
Sunderland’s road to the final has been tense, demanding the full grit and determination of the relegation-spot side to see off tough opponents. They held on admirably against Manchester United to then beat them on penalties and secure their final spot. Not the cruising 9-0 aggregate victory of their final opponent’s semi-final fixtures, but the nature of the cup determines that it’s what happens on the day that counts. Gus Poyet’s men will be more than happy to put their all into a game that can make a real difference to the club’s fortunes as they struggle to put in the consistent performances needed to drag themselves out of the relegation zone. Victory here could bring the first major trophy in the club’s history – an honour that could be crucial in motivating the side in their last few games of the season.
A game of this magnitude is the ideal occasion to book yourself a Travelodge and take a trip down to London to witness a spectacle of English football where a surprise is always waiting in the wings and the pride and determination of clubs, large and small, comes to the fore. Whoever you’re willing to win, it’s sure to be an exciting match!
//Contributor : Catherine Lavinia