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Man City on track to put things right at Wembley in Capital One Cup

| 06.01.2014

Giving up the Premiership title so tamely to their despised Red neighbours will have stuck in the throats of Manchester City fans more than anything last season, but not all that far behind would be the defeat to relegated Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup Final. It was a great chance to salvage something worthwhile from a disappointing campaign and they blew it.

So regardless of whether City go on to regain the title from United in May – and Coral go evens that they do – the blue half of Manchester will be be extremely anxious not to throw away another fine opportunity of Wembley glory.

The Capital One Cup has never been a main priority for top flight clubs, but it’s fair to say that in some ways it is regarded as a more attractive target to Premier League obsessed clubs these days than the FA Cup, simply because the Final is played at a less important time of the season.

City are 10/11 to get a first trophy for Manuel Pellegrini under their belts and out of the way by March 2nd before frying the bigger fish of the Premier League, Champions League and maybe even the FA Cup if the draw continues to be kind to them.

And it’s looking even better for them after the demoralising defeat suffered by their semi-final opponents West Ham (12/1) at the weekend. Some funny things happen in the Cups of course, but it is hard to see the Hammers, blown away 5-0 by Championship outfit Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup 3rd Round, picking themselves up in time for their daunting first leg trip to the Etihad on Wednesday.

Certainly they look in a better place than United (11/8), who also had the stuffing knocked out of them by Swansea on Sunday and who have a day less to recover before going to the Stadium of Light for their first leg against Sunderland (10/1), who in contrast will have been buoyed by their FA Cup win.

And if all goes to form and it’s an all-Manchester affair at Wembley, City will be strong favourites unless there is a massive turn around in form over the next two months.

Sunderland and West Ham may still have plenty to say about it, but this could well be the chance for City to both erase the painful memory of last May’s FA Cup Final defeat and at the same time make another huge statement about the balance of power in Manchester.



Jon Freeman