Chris Sutton makes bold Loris Karius claim ahead of Newcastle United v Man Utd Carabao Cup Final

Nick Pope and Loris Karius (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Nick Pope and Loris Karius (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Nick Pope and Loris Karius (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
The former Premier League winner has made a shock prediction ahead of Sunday’s final.

Former Blackburn Rovers and Celtic striker Chris Sutton has predicted a ‘fairytale’ ending to Newcastle United’s Carabao Cup Final clash with Manchester United.

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The two sides will meet in a major cup final for the first time since goals from Teddy Sheringham and Paul Scholes gave the Red Devils a 2-0 win over Ruud Gullit’s Magpies in the FA Cup Final in 1999.

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That remained Newcastle’s last appearance in a Wembley cup final until last month when two goals from Sean Longstaff helped Eddie Howe’s men claim a 2-1 second leg win over Southampton and secure a 3-1 aggregate win over the Saints.

The two Uniteds have endured differing fortunes since earning their place at Wembley, with Erik ten Hag’s side progressing into the latter stages of the FA Cup and Europa League, as well as giving themselves a chance of pressuring Manchester City and Arsenal in the Premier League title race.

Newcastle’s form has been rather more underwhelming, with last Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat against Liverpool meaning they are yet to win since they claimed a cup final place with their second leg win over Southampton on the final day of January.

Their hopes were further hit when regular number one Nick Pope was shown a first-half red card that has ruled him out of the final. With backup keeper Martin Dubravka cup-tied and Karl Darlow out on loan at Hull City, fourth-choice stopper Loris Karius is set to make his competitive debut on Sunday afternoon.

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Sutton conceded the Red Devils are the favourites to get their hands of the trophy - but he tipped Karius to have a major say in a tie he believes will go all of the way.

Writing in his BBC Sport predictions column, he said: “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.

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“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.”

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