Soccer Picks Parlay: EPL & Carabao Cup Final Preview and Predictions
The Mourinho Derby: Man United Host Chelsea
In Mourinho's first game back at Chelsea as Manchester United manager last season, the Special One was humiliated as his team lost 4-0. Antonio Conte's passionate touchline antics haunted Jose Mourinho that day and planted a seed that spawned into what is now a heated rivalry.
Conte won the title last season and whenever Jose Mourinho tried to poke the bear with verbal jabs, Conte ignored him.
This season life has not been so good to Conte. Now when Mourinho took shots at him, not only did he get him to take the bait, it turned into a dogfight.
And quite frankly I'd rather watch these two managers interact on the touchline than the actual game itself. When Manchester United host Chelsea this Sunday February 25th at 9:05am EST, it's more than likely going to be a tightly played game with very few chances.
Last season at Old Trafford, Mourinho man marked Eden Hazard and took him out of the game, United got 2 lucky goals and it was labeled another Mourinho Masterclass.
Fast forward a year later and United are playing abject football. They still don't commit enough bodies forward and are too willing to play without the ball in big games. Chelsea won't create loads of chances Sunday because Mourinho can't afford to lose to Conte after dropping the nuclear bombs only he can with his tongue. United having only conceded 5 goals at home all season in the Premier League will surely put up a sturdy resistance once again.
Conte will also look to shut down the United attack which has been less than fluid as of late meaning that we have what seems to be another Darkside Special. Jose Mourinho can get even the most expensive collection of football players to commit to a gameplan of boring, lifeless soccer.
I've come to learn that boring pays the bills.Under 2.5 goals (-135) Bodog Draw (+220) Bodog Final score 0-0 (+850) William Hill
EFL Carabao Cup Final: Man City vs Arsenal
Don't ask how and don't ask why, but Arsenal do quite well at Wembley. The last 2 times they've faced Manchester City at Wembley they've been the underdog and have emerged victorious, most recently in last season's FA Cup semifinal. So on Sunday not only will Manchester City have that in the back of their minds, but the pressure will also be on them to finally show some returns on this billion dollar project by winning a trophy.
On Monday the got knocked out of the FA Cup by Wigan which could have been a blessing in disguise. It's hard to be overconfident after just losing to the Latics. I expect Pep to be a madman in training this week preparing his team to dominate an Arsenal squad that can do either or on Sunday; be brilliant and pull off the shock, or get taken to the cleaners.
My guess is this will be a competitive game that City win 3-2 in 90 minutes. Arsenal will have stretches in this match where they look like the better team but ultimately will have too many players on the field who don't do much defending, like Ozil and Mkhitaryan, and a player who need service in Aubameyang but won't get enough of it because City are just too good at keeping the ball and winning it back when they lose it.
Unlike the Gunners, Man City work to serve one another and they can function well as a group of interchangeable parts. They are a classy project and they don't care who gets the credit. Teams like that should win. Cup finals always have the potential for randomness, however, I think Pep lift his first trophy in England this weekend.Man City wins and over 2.5 goals (-110) William Hill
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