Aston Villa manager Dean Smith is embracing his side being underdogs in the Carabao Cup final. Manchester City are seeking to win the trophy for the third successive season.
“We’re massive underdogs against a world-class team,” Smith said.
“But I can only name one or two other teams who wouldn’t be underdogs going into the game against City.
“They’re a fantastic team, no matter which 11 they put out, and they’ve a fantastic coach which is why they can go to the Bernabeu and get a result.
“But I like sometimes being the underdog because we can go and have a good fight without people expecting anything of us.”
City have had limited time to prepare for the Carabao Cup final after their last 16 Champions League win over Real Madrid in midweek.
But manager Pep Guardiola insists his side will take nothing for granted when they meet Villa this afternoon.
“You can never think you are going to win,” Guardiola said. “That’s a lack of respect for our opponent.
“Our mentally tough game was against Madrid in the week, so we know we are going to suffer with that for the next few days, which is normal.
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“You have to prepare for weeks for games like that, so there is a drop of adrenaline afterwards but now we’ll start to prepare for the final to try to win it.
“Villa are organised, they have a keeper with incredible experience in Pepe Reina, talent and fast players up front, physicality in midfield, good headers as centre-defenders.”
What time does the Carabao Cup final start?
Aston Villa vs Man City kicks off at 4.30pm GMT this afternoon.
What TV channel is the Carabao Cup final on?
Fans can watch the Wembley showdown on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football.
Existing customers can stream the action via the Sky Go app.
Those without a subscription can purchase a Sky Sports pass through NOW TV to watch the game.
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