Our event of the day is the EFL Cup final match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in London. The battle of two football powerhouses will result in the winner of the first major silverware of the English season. This is Arsenal’s eighth League Cup final appearance, but they were victorious only on two occasions (in 1987 and 1993), and is an opportunity for their long-serving manager Arsene Wenger to clinch the only domestic trophy that has eluded him so far. City, on the other side, have been more successful and have won four titles from their five previous final appearances (in 1970, 1976, 2014 and 2016). If his side wins today, Pep Guardiola will win his first trophy as the Man City manager, though they do seem to be bound for Premier League triumph later on in the season, holding a massive 15-point lead in front of second placed Liverpool and with a game in hand. Both sides however have suffered unexpected defeats in their most recent games. The Citizens exited the FA Cup in the fifth round following a 1-0 defeat away to Wigan on Monday, while the Gunners lost 2-1 at home to Östersunds in the Europa League round of last 32, but progressed 4-2 on aggregate.
Last season, Arsenal beat Manchester City 2-1 at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final, en route to their third triumph in four years in that competition. Today, the Gunners will be without injured attacker Alexandre Lacazette and January signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan who is ineligible to play. Fabian Delph is suspended for City, while second-choice goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, who has played in every round, will start. We are set for a dramatic showdown at Wembley.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Premier League game between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester. Ahead of this derby, United are third in the table with 56 points, while Chelsea are in fourth with 53 points; both teams have a game in hand on second-placed Liverpool on 57 points. It’s the final day of the ATP Rio Open at the Jockey Club Brasileiro in Rio de Janeiro. In golf, it’s Day 4 of the Honda Classic at the PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens in Florida. It’s also the fourth day of contest at the table tennis ITTF Team World Cup at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. In the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers go head-to-head with the San Antonio Spurs at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The final day of the 2018 Winter Olympics brings the 4-man event in bobsleigh, Women’s 30km cross-country, Women’s gold medal game in curling and Men’s gold medal game in ice hockey, before the closing ceremony. New Zealand face England in the 1st ODI at Seddon Park in Hamilton. In the Aviva Premiership, Saracens take on Leicester Tigers at Allianz Park in London. The pick of the NHL action is the duel between the Nashville Predators and the St. Louis Blues at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by Arsenal; Manchester City
See what else is happening in the world of sport