EFL Cup Final: Can Newcastle end 68-year wait for a trophy against Man Utd?

Having performed above expectations to challenge for a top four finish in the Premier League this season, Newcastle United can write the first chapter of their Saudi-backed modern era by beating Manchester United in the EFL Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

The Magpies have not won a top level trophy since beating Manchester City in the 1954-55 FA Cup Final (although they have won the since defunct Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and Intertoto Cup, as well as finishing as champions in England’s second tier in 2010 and 2017).

In contrast, Man Utd have been a trophy-winning machine in recent decades, although they have not tasted success in the form of silverware since winning the Europa League in 2017.

With Tottenham Hotspur hosting Chelsea earlier in the day and Marseille taking on Paris Saint-Germain in Le Classique in the evening, it is a Super Sunday feast for football fans this weekend. These three matches are included in Premier Bet’s Live Win Bonus offer, which gives all new and existing customers 5% extra on any winnings from in-play bets. Don’t forget to opt-in! T&C’s apply.

Man Utd v Newcastle (Sunday 16:30 GMT)

Crucially for both teams, they will have their midfield maestros back in time to start this match, with Brazil internationals Casemiro and Bruno Guimaraes both available again after serving three-match bans in recent weeks.

However, Nick Pope is suspended after being sent off against Liverpool last weekend, meaning former Reds goalkeeper Loris Karius is set to make his first start since joining the Toon Army. The German stopper has not featured for an English side since his two high-profile errors significantly contributed to Liverpool’s defeat to Real Madrid in the 2018 Champions League final.

These sides have drawn their last two meetings, including a 0-0 stalemate at Old Trafford in October. With Eddie Howe’s side drawing 11 of their 23 league games this season, Sunday’s final could be a tight affair, with the draw providing interest in the 1X2 market at 3.40.

However, the potential impact of Pope’s absence on what has proven to be the most effective defensive unit in the Premier League by some distance so far this campaign remains to be seen.

One man who cannot stop scoring at present is Marcus Rashford, who has bagged 11 goals in 11 matches for his club since starring for England at the World Cup. The 25-year-old can be backed at 2.25 to score anytime at Wembley.

Darwin Nunez, Cody Gakpo and Mohamed Salah enjoyed plenty of space in behind Newcastle’s defence last weekend, which are exactly the type of situations Rashford thrives in. On current form you would back him to beat a potentially rusty Karius should he have at least one chance to do so.