Injuries mar City’s triumph

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Aymeric Laporte and Fernandinho will be sidelined for several weeks after picking up injuries on Sunday.

Both players had to be substituted as City won the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley 4-3 on penalties after the match had ended goalless after extra time.

City have the opportunity to win the quadruple as they are currently second in the Premier League table, after Liverpool drew 0-0 at Manchester United on Sunday, in control of their Champions League last-16 tie against Schalke and involved in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup next month.

Guardiola said after the Wembley win that City "will miss a lot of important players for a few weeks".

"Being in four competitions is so demanding, so tough, we don't know where we're going to arrive," he added. "Fernandinho and Laporte will be some weeks out."

Guardiola is also currently without injured duo John Stones and Benjamin Mendy while Nicolas Otamendi is suspended for the second leg against Schalke.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager admitted: "Winning this game is good for the enthusiasm for the next games. But we are going to suffer for the next competitions, especially in the Champions League and Premier League.

"But we will see how far we can go."

City are 1/6 to beat West Ham in the Premier League on Wednesday and 8/15 to win the Premier League title. They can be backed at 4/5 to win the FA Cup and at 11/4 to triumph in the Champions League for the first time in their history.

Sarri plays down Kepa row

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri insists Kepa Arrizabalaga's refusal to be substituted in Sunday's Carabao Cup final was a "big misunderstanding".

Sarri had tried to bring Willy Caballero on for the former Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper in the closing minutes of extra time when the match against Manchester City was still goalless.

Kepa appeared to be struggling with cramp but refused to be substituted even though the change had already been displayed to the stadium by the fourth official.

Sarri remonstrated with Kepa to leave the pitch but the goalkeeper ignored the Italian and was involved in the penalty shoot-out, which Chelsea eventually lost 4-3.

"It was a big misunderstanding because I understood that he had a cramp. So I didn't want a keeper (to) go to penalties in that physical condition," Sarri said afterwards.

"The goalkeeper wanted only to let me know that he was in condition to go to the penalties. It was only a big misunderstanding. Kepa was right, but in the wrong way.

"I want to talk with him because he needs to understand that for a misunderstanding we can (get) in trouble, especially with you."

Arsenal's 2-0 victory against Southampton on Sunday has left Chelsea struggling to finish in the top four of the Premier League for the second campaign in a row.

They face Tottenham in a crunch game on Wednesday and can be backed at 6/4 to win the London derby and at 6/1 to do so by a two-goal margin.

Chelsea are currently available at 6/5 to finish in the top four.

Shootout success for City

Manchester City defeated Chelsea 4-3 on penalties to win the Carabao Cup on a highly controversial afternoon at Wembley.

The game was inching towards a shootout, with no goals in 90 minutes and few chances in extra-time, when a scarcely believable turn of events saw Kepa Arrizabalaga refuse to be substituted by Maurizio Sarri.

The Chelsea goalkeeper twice went down injured during extra-time, requiring treatment, and his manager summoned Willy Caballero to don the gloves with just moments remaining before the penalty shootout.

Arrizabalaga signalled to the bench that he was fit to continue, but the board went up and Caballero stood waiting on halfway to make his entrance, only for the drama to be ramped up.

Arrizabalaga continued to signal his determination to continue, as Sarri and Gianfranco Zola beckoned him to come ashore. In the end, referee Jon Moss consulted the Chelsea boss at the sideline and he appeared to give in.

It was a dramatic turn of events, and one that surely undermined the manager's position. Sarri appeared at one stage as if he was going to depart for the dressing room before extra-time ended.

Chelsea had been hugely spirited until that point, stopping Manchester City from creating chances and banishing the memory of a 6-0 defeat to the same opponents just a fortnight ago.

Jorginho was denied with Chelsea's opening spot-kick, and while Arrizabalaga threatened to become the hero with a fine save from Leroy Sane, he also allowed Sergio Aguero's weak strike to slide under his body.

After David Luiz saw his kick cannon off the upright with Ederson beaten, Bernardo Silva restored the advantage for Pep Guardiola's men.

Eden Hazard kept Chelsea in the contest with a sublime dinked effort but Raheem Sterling crashed his effort in off the underside of the crossbar to seal the win for Manchester City, who keep alive their hopes of an unprecedented quadruple.

The fallout for Arrizabalaga, Sarri and Chelsea will likely rumble on for some time.

Man City are 8/15 to win the Premier League this season, having been knocked off top spot earlier on Sunday when Liverpool took a point from their visit to Manchester United after a cagey stalemate. The Reds are 13/8 to be champions.

Man City meanwhile are 10/1 to win all four trophies they are contesting.

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Kante takes a positive approach

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante says he and his team-mates have to show confidence when they take on Manchester City in the final of the Carabao Cup at Wembley.

The Blues head into the showpiece showdown having lost three of their last five games in all competitions, including being thrashed 6-0 by the Citizens in a Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium.

However, Kante is looking for an upbeat approach to the game, with Chelsea having beaten City 2-0 when the two sides met at Stamford Bridge in early December.

He told the Daily Mirror: "They are not unbeatable. We need to go in with a lot of hope and to prepare for the game in the best way.

"They are a great team. We played them three times this season and in the last three months we played them at home and away. They were two different games.

"We need to know that we can win like at Stamford Bridge, or we can lose as at the Etihad. Everything is possible.

"After our last result against Man City, it was difficult to accept the defeat and we lost again against Manchester United.

"Every defeat like this is difficult to accept as a player. At the end we cannot change it – we need to accept it and go forward and do better. That's what we try to do."

Chelsea, who last won the League Cup in 2015, are 5/2 to lift the trophy on Sunday and are 14/1 to win 1-0 in 90 minutes against holders City.

The Londoners' Belgian winger Eden Hazard is priced at 12/5 to score at any time in the game.

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Laporte relishes Citizens future

Versatile defender Aymeric Laporte is determined to help Manchester City win further silverware, having signed a contract extension which runs until 2025.

The 24-year-old Frenchman joined the Citizens from Athletic Bilbao just over a year ago and has since made 46 appearances in all competitions, helping the club to Premier League and League Cup success last season.

And the France Under-21 international's efforts have been rewarded with a new deal which Laporte says he was more than happy to sign.

He told the club's official website: "I could not be happier to commit my long-term future to Manchester City. Since the day I arrived here, I have been made to feel welcome by Pep and all the players.

"This club offers me everything I need to improve my game. I've already made great strides and I want to continue getting better and better.

"Obviously I want to win silverware and I feel City is the best place for me to fulfil all my ambitions."

Laporte and the Citizens will be hoping to complete a successful defence of their League Cup title on Sunday, when they take on Chelsea at Wembley.

The two sides have already met three times this season, with City winning their Community Shield clash 2-0.

The Blues reversed that scoreline when the rivals faced off in a Premier League game at Stamford Bridge in early December, while two weeks ago City inflicted a 6-0 humiliation on the Londoners at the Etihad stadium.

The Citizens are 2/7 to lift the League Cup on Sunday and are 13/2 to win the game 2-0 in normal time, with Laporte 12/1 to score at any time.

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Silva seeks more silverware

Manchester City midfielder David Silva says he is keen to win an eighth trophy with the club by lifting the Carabao Cup on Sunday.

The 33-year-old Spaniard has helped City win three Premier League titles since he arrived at the club from Valencia in the summer of 2010, as well as three League Cups and one FA Cup.

City face Chelsea at Wembley, a team they thrashed 6-0 in the league earlier this month.

However, Silva is anticipating a tight game this weekend against Maurizio Sarri's team, who reached the last-16 of the Europa League by knocking Malmo out on Thursday.

Silva said: "It's another chance to win a title and it's always beautiful to play a final at Wembley. Hopefully, we can win it.

"A final is always difficult, whether you play Chelsea or any other team. It will be tough. They have a lot of quality players up front, so we should take care."

Silva has made 33 appearances for Pep Guardiola's team this season but insists he is still feeling fresh.

He added: "I feel good, to be honest. I know every day it gets tougher because there's a lot of games and a high level.

"But I feel fine. I have to take more care, but that's what I'm doing and I'm feeling good."

City are 2/7 to lift the trophy on Sunday with Silva available at 11/4 to score at any time against Chelsea. Meanwhile, Guardiola's team can be backed at 4/6 to win the Premier League again this season.

Giroud eyes Blues improvements

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud hopes a 3-0 Europa League victory against Malmo will go some way to restoring confidence among the Stamford Bridge squad.

Giroud was among the scorers as the Blues completed a 5-1 aggregate success to secure their place in the last-16 of the Europa League, with the Londoners having lost three of their previous five games in all competitions.

And the France frontman believes that the win will go some way to restoring belief at the Bridge, with Chelsea back in action on Sunday when they face Manchester City in the final of the Carabao Cup.

Giroud told BT Sport: "We needed some confidence back and a good win, especially to reassure ourselves defensively with a clean sheet.

"We were strong defensively and ambitious up front. It was a good night, we finished the job well and now we can focus on the next game.

"It's good for confidence but now we need (to build) momentum."

Chelsea can be backed at 11/4 to lift the Carabao Cup at the weekend, while the Blues are 9/2 to win the Europa League this season.

Meanwhile, Blues head coach Maurizio Sarri admitted that it had taken his side some time to get going against Malmo on Thursday evening, adding: "I think we played the first 30 minutes without confidence, we were nervous and unable to move the ball very fast.

"It was a little bit better in the last 15 minutes of the first half, then after the first goal we played very well. We started to move the ball fast and with confidence."

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Zola hints at Higuain role

Chelsea assistant boss Gianfranco Zola has hinted that new loan signing Gonzalo Higuain could be involved in the FA Cup clash with Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday.

The 31-year-old Argentina international has linked up with the Blues after spending the first half of the season with AC Milan, having been loaned out to the Rossoneri after falling down the pecking order at Juventus.

And he may yet be pitched straight into the action, with the Blues set to make a number of changes to the side who reached the Carabao Cup final at the expense of Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday evening.

Zola told reporters: "It is an opportunity and there are players that need to be rested, but we haven't discussed it yet.

"Everybody knows his best quality is his goalscoring record. He can score in many ways and I'm sure there are a lot of expectations on him. I'm also sure he is used to it as he has played for big clubs.

"He has always produced good numbers wherever he has been. This is not a team that is desperate, but it needs to add certain qualities to what it already has.

"He is coming in late, but he is playing in a system that he is used to and the type of players we have will help him to achieve his best. The conditions are good."

Higuain can be backed at 4/6 to score at any time against the Owls at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, with Chelsea 11/2 to win the game 2-0 and 4/5 to keep a clean sheet.

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Hazard rates Chelsea’s chances

Star Chelsea forward Eden Hazard believes his side will have an even chance of defeating opponents Manchester City in the final of the Carabao Cup.

The Blues booked their place in the Wembley showpiece by beating Spurs 2-1 at Stamford Bridge in the second leg of their semi-final, with an aggregate score of 2-2 leading to a penalty shootout in which Chelsea prevailed 4-2.

And Hazard, who won the League Cup with the Blues four years ago, is looking forward to the chance of taking on the Citizens next month, with the men from Manchester the current holders of the trophy.

He told Sky Sports: "It's always hard (against City). With Liverpool, I think they are the best team in the Premier League at the moment.

"They win a lot of trophies in the last five or six years, but we also have a great team, so I think it is a 50-50 game."

Chelsea are priced at 6/4 to lift the Carabao Cup, with Man City available at 1/2.

Meanwhile, Blues head coach Maurizio Sarri was pleased to see his players answer some of the questions he had posed about their lacklustre performances in recent games.

He added: "We will now play a final, a very difficult final, but I was very happy with the performance.

"I think in the last three or four matches we had a problem; firstly motivation and then the players stopped to having fun on the pitch.

"Now with this performance and result we can once again find enthusiasm, which is very important."

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De Bruyne happy to be back

Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne has admitted that he has yet to hit top form for the reigning Premier League champions this season.

The 27-year-old Belgium international has made just two league starts so far this season, having suffered with two knee problems already this term, but he is now back in the fold on a regular basis with the Citizens and looking to improve in the near future.

He told reporters: "I'm getting better.

"You need a run of games where you play a lot, because I'm not used to playing every three days, but I'm getting there.

"I'm happy with the way I'm performing. It's not the same record as last year, but you can expect that because I've been out since the World Cup.

"To come back twice is mentally not that easy, but I'm happy to be back playing football again."

Former Chelsea forward De Bruyne joined City in the summer of 2015 and has since scored 38 goals in 153 appearances in all competitions, helping the Citizens to win the Premier League title last season, as well as two successes in the League Cup.

On the international stage he was a member of the Belgium squad who reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in the summer of last year and has netted 15 times in 68 outings for the Red Devils to date.

Meanwhile, City are 6/5 to retain their Premier League crown this season, with the men from Manchester 1/2 to lift the League Cup and 7/2 to triumph in the Champions League.

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