It's definitely not the final that everyone expected, or actually wanted. Everyone expected Chelsea, Arsenal, or Manchester United to be in the final. But, it was the underdogs that rose to the occasion. Manchester's "second" team, City, stunningly upset their rivals with a 1-0 victory in the semi-final to give Roberto Mancini hope of getting a trophy for the millions of pounds that he has shelled out on world-class players. Stoke on the other hand crushed a favored Bolton 5-0 in the semis, and gave The Potters hope of winning their first trophy since 1972, when they won the League Cup, now known as the Carling Cup.
In my eyes, Manchester City are the clear favorites. They'll be without their talisman Carlos Tevez, but they have other top class players in David Silva, Yaya Toure, Joe Hart, and Mario Balotelli. I'm not sure about Edin Dzeko. He's looked like a total crap signing. Hasn't done anything for the Mancs at all. But then again, Stoke does play well against the big teams, with their 3-1 win against Arsenal being proof. However, Tony Pulis' side is often, and deservedly, receive criticism for playing a "rugby" style gameplay. "Rugby" in this sense means that they simply boot the ball up the field, hoping to catch defenders by surprise, and then score. They also play American Football, thanks to Laury Delap's throw-ins. Just look it up on Youtube. So stupid.
So, if you haven't noticed already, I don't like Stoke City at all. But, I would hate for the Citizens to actually win it all. It would give their plastic fans bragging rights against teams like Manchester United and Arsenal, who didn't have to buy a whole new squad on the transfer market to actually achieve success. Chelsea are guilty of this too, with Roman Abramovich single-handedly turning them into champions with the help of his wallet. Man City have spent 340 million British pounds since their takeover by the Abu Dhabi Group. 340 MILLION. The price of Arsenal's total starting 11 is around 40 million pounds! Sadly though, it looks like that these days, that's the kind of spending that is needed to win, er....buy, trophies. The days of Manchester United and Arsenal being the teams who constantly challenge for the titles are numbered if they don't change their ways.
Whoops, got off topic there. So, who do I think is going to win it? Like I said before, Manchester City. Stoke will most likely try to play their ridiculous long balls, but Vincent Kompany will be more than capable of dealing with them. So, 3-2 to the Sky Blues sounds about right. This match will kick off on Saturday, May 14th at 9:00 a.m. Central US Time, and can be seen on Fox Soccer Channel in the US.