If you had asked Aston Villa supporters if they would head to Wembley this season they would have probably rolled their eyes at you. Yet, here we are yet again with Pep Guardiola and his Man City powerhouse side our opponents.
It is not easy being a football supporter at times. Part of me is dreading and the thought of what Man City could do to us (We all remember what they did to Watford at Wembley) while another side of me is thinking, its the Cup Final, anything is possible!
Villa last won a trophy when I was ten years old and I didn’t fully embrace it so the older I have got, the more I have wanted trophy success. The Playoff Final last year was so special because we tasted Wembley success and returned to the Premier League but it is not the same as Cup success.
I know there has been an ongoing debate about Premier League survival or Cup success. Ideally, we would all love both and I know what I would prefer. Which differs from a lot of fans views but let me ask you a question; In 10 years time if we had one or the other, would you remember the players who survived relegation or the players who won the cup?
TEAM NEWS & INJURY UPDATE
Danny Drinkwater will miss the Final as he is Cup-tied. Despite his best efforts, the game has come too early for a reported ‘distraught’ John McGinn also.
Otherwise, apart from the long-term casualties, Dean Smith has a fully fit squad to choose from. His biggest dilemma will be who he starts in goal with Orjan Nyland being the stand-in man for the Cup games this season, so far.
Smith also stated how disappointed he was in the performance of the players in last weekends defeat to Southampton so it will be interesting to see his team selection and the tactics he opts for.
Man City will be without Aymeric Laporte who injured his hamstring in City’s 1-2 win over Real Madrid in the Champions League in mid-week.
Otherwise, Man City have a fully fit squad to choose from.
MAN CITY KEY PLAYER
Kevin De Bruyne. Is it really any surprise? In my eyes the best all-round player in the Premier League. Although he is one of many who could cause Villa fans a lot of heartache on the day.
Let’s just hope our boys can be the ones giving Man City fans some heartache.
THOUGHTS ON MAN CITY
Honestly? I am massively jealous of what they were able to do and go on to achieve. I can’t imagine any of their fans thought they would have been going into a Cup Final against the mighty Aston Villa being massive favourites 10-15 years ago.
It is just a shame, for whatever reason, their fans don’t seem to appreciate the team they have in their numbers.
Following Smith’s comments last week, the side is anyone’s guess. It wouldn’t really surprise me though to see a change in the system so my prediction here could be completely wrong.
(4-1-4-1) Nyland; Elmohammady, Mings, Engels, Targett; Nakamba; El Ghazi, Hourihane, Luiz, Grealish; Samatta.