Paul Merson and Chris Sutton disagree on Manchester United vs Newcastle United Carabao Cup final predictions

Paul Merson and Chris Sutton disagree on Manchester United vs Newcastle United Carabao Cup final predictions

Updated: 22 days, 11 hours, 16 minutes, 37 seconds ago

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Manchester United face Newcastle in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday with both sides looking to claim the first available trophy of the season.

United haven't brought silverware back to Old Trafford since their 2017 Europa League triumph, and Erik ten Hag has a chance this weekend to fulfil one of his first promises at the first time of asking. The Reds go into the weekend buoyed by progression into the last-16 of the Europa League, having beaten Barcelona 2-1 in the second leg on Thursday.

That clash, however, means that United have had only two full days to prepare for the final while Newcastle have been focused on Wembley since Sunday. And with top-scorer Marcus Rashford limping off in the second-half with what looked to be an ankle injury, there is concern around M16 he may not be fully fit.

ALSO READ: Rashford and Martial fitness latest ahead of Carabao Cup

Newcastle, meanwhile, will crucially be without first-choice goalkeeper Nick Pope, following his red card against Liverpool at the weekend. And with second-choice Martin Dubravka cup-tied due to having played for United in the earlier rounds, Loris Karius looks set for a rare start.

Below are the predictions of both Chris Sutton and Paul Merson, with the pair disagreeing on the eventual victor.

Chris Sutton (BBC Sport)

"Manchester United are a club with great harmony now and I have nothing but praise for the work Erik ten Hag has done there, but I don't think Sunday will be as straightforward for them as many seem to be expecting.

"Everyone is writing Newcastle off because Nick Pope is suspended and they will have to play their third-choice goalkeeper Loris Karius instead.

"Whether we like it or not, we all remember Karius for what happened in the 2018 Champions League final. I really felt for him then, but this is his chance for redemption.

"For him to win at Wembley, and be the hero too, would be a fairytale because it is so unlikely - but you know what, let's go for the fairytale.

"Marcus Rashford is in ridiculous form for Manchester United at the moment and you have to make the Magpies the underdogs here.

"Yes, Ten Hag's side got away with things a little bit against Leicester and also have to play Barcelona on Thursday while Newcastle have a free week, but Manchester United are clear favourites.

"I don't care about that, though. I think this game will go the distance and Karius will make the difference, right at the very end.

Sutton's prediction: 1-1, Newcastle to win after extra time and penalties.

Paul Merson (Sportskeeda)

"If there was one player Eddie Howe couldn't afford to miss in this final, it would be Nick Pope. He has won them so many points this season. I'd be shocked if Newcastle won this one without Pope in goal. He is that big for Newcastle United. Unfortunately, he is suspended and that's going to cost Newcastle dearly.

"When they're keeping clean sheets, Pope is making big saves. Off the top of my head, in the draw against Arsenal, he made a world-class save to deny Eddie Nketiah.

"Manchester United are going to create chances and they are going to score goals. Put Rashford down for one goal already. He is playing so well that you'll be shocked if he doesn't score in this game.

"United are the team to beat in the final. Newcastle United are not a free-scoring side. They don't blow teams away. If they don't score two or three goals, they are not winning this one. I just don't see them doing that against United on Sunday.

"For me, the Magpies are desperate to win a trophy (more than getting into the top 4) and these players can attain legendary status if they win silverware. Unfortunately, it looks unlikely that will happen."

Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Newcastle United