CONFIRMED: Manchester City & Sunderland line-ups - Aguero and Larsson start

Here is how Manchester City and Sunderland will line-up for this afternoon’s League Cup final:

Manchester City starting XI: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Kompany, Kolarov, Nasri, Fernandinho, Toure, Silva, Dzeko, Aguero

Subs: Hart, Clichy, Lescott, Milner, Garcia, Navas, Negredo

Sunderland starting XI: Mannone, Bardsley, Alonso, O'Shea, Brown, Cattermole, Colback, Ki, Larsson, Johnson, Borini

Subs: Ustari, Gardner, Fletcher, Celustka, Giaccherini, Vergini, Scocco

Here it is: the first cup final of the year, and both sides will be desperate to get their hands on the trophy. Manuel Pellegrini and Gus Poyet have both done very different but equally admirable jobs so far for their new clubs, and despite the difference in league position, this match is tough to call.

The Blues will know that a relegation-threatened side does not equate to a walk-over – as last season’s FA Cup final against Wigan Athletic proved. But equally Poyet will have seen the way his side were dismantled by Arsenal last weekend and know a repeat could see City run riot.

Having seen to City’s fierce rivals in the last round, it could be a Manchester double for Poyet, and with Adam Johnson in blistering form he looks the most likely of the Black Cats’ side to cause a shock.

Steven Jovetic and Matija Nastasic are both unavailable for the Blues, while Liam Bridcutt is cup-tied for Sunderland.

What do you think the result will be this afternoon?

image: © braveheartsportsnetwork

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