Roll on Sunday…

As the clock ticks down to the 2020 Carabao Cup Final, anticipation and excitement builds.

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Naturally, it’s the main topic of conversation… but the press are also still purring over City’s Champions League triumph over Real Madrid – such was the manner of the victory.

It’s a bumper edition of Media Watch. Dive right in!

Match preview: Carabao Cup Final

Sky Sports: Kevin De Bruyne: Man City taking Carabao Cup final seriously

Kevin De Bruyne: "This club takes every competition seriously. It doesn't matter what competition we play, we play to win it and we've shown that whoever you're playing in this competition, new players and maybe players who play a little less, are there to win the game.

“The guys have stepped up and done the job brilliantly. Props to having a really good team of 25 players.

"You have to respect every competition because we play in big games and sometimes against teams from the lower leagues but even then, we show the dedication to do what we need to do as professionals and show that we'll do everything to win this cup.

"The beginning is going to be very tight. I don't think they're going to open up a lot and play the game we want to play but I think they played with five at the back and three midfielders last time and we started the game off really well.

"I think after 25 minutes, it was 3-0 [Man City beat Aston Villa 6-1 in the Premier League earlier this season] so you know they have to open up the game and then it becomes easier for us to play through them.

“They will hope to keep it tight, maybe get a goal here and there, but I don't think it's going to be an open game in the beginning."

WATCH: Real Madrid 1-2 City: Brief highlights

Shoot: Michael Brown: Manchester City “won’t get complacent” in Carabao Cup Final after Real Madrid heroics

Michael Brown: “They’ll (City will) be confident, but I think that’s one thing they don’t take in, they don’t get complacent.

“Guardiola will be no different with his preparation, he’ll be looking at Villa’s and their own weaknesses, what they can improve on – that’s what the club do.

“When City played Villa recently, Guardiola actually played Jesus through the left, Sergio Aguero and Riyad Mahrez, so he could definitely play both at the top of the pitch.

“You would have to say Kevin De Bruyne will have an influence Sunday, looking at what he does on a regular occasion.

“Raheem Sterling, what will he feature in it? These are the types who could be key.

“You know they’re going to control the possession; they went for them at Villa Park and I don’t think it will be much different, put the chances away and be careful Villa don’t create opportunities.”

View from the opposition

Aston Villa: The presser: Wembley final, stopping City and making history

Dean Smith: “When I saw the team sheet [against Real Madrid] and saw David Silva wasn’t playing, Sergio Aguero wasn’t playing and Sterling wasn’t playing, I thought they must be worried about playing Aston Villa!

“They’re a fantastic team, whichever 11 they put out, and they have a fantastic coach. That’s why they’re such massive favourites in the game and why they can go to a place like the Bernabeu and get a result like they did.

“We also know that we can push them. We went there earlier in the season and there was an absolute belief that we could beat them that day.

“I like being the underdog because we can go out and play without anyone expecting us to win, but we have also have that drive to prove people wrong.”

WATCH: 2018 Carabao Cup Final highlights

Aston Villa TV: League Cup Legend | Andy Townsend meets Jack Grealish

Jack Grealish (on his favourite City player): “De Bruyne, easy. I love him.

“I think he’s easily the best player in the Premier League for me and – apart from Messi and Ronaldo – the best player in the world.

“Everyone knows how good he is and he could walk into any team in the world.

“I’ve played against him twice this season but I haven’t managed to get his shirt yet. I’ll try to get it after the Final.”

 

The Mirror: Ezri Konsa admits revenge is on Aston Villa's mind in Carabao Cup final vs Man City

Ezri Konsa: "It would be good revenge. That’s the thing I’m most looking forward to: getting revenge. They can’t do the triple over us and we won't allow that. It will be a good test for us and a good test for them.

“Man City are a great team, one of the best in Europe. They’ve got some really good players that could really hurt us and I think that we did allow some of their top players to have a lot of time on the ball, which did hurt us. I think their movement was really good.

“In football, anything is possible. Personally, it’s my first time playing at Wembley and we don’t want to make a fool of ourselves at Wembley so we are all looking forward to it and know we could get a result and bring the cup back home.”

 

Express and Star: Big Interview Exclusive: Aston Villa's Kortney Hause aiming to show Manchester City no respect in Carabao Cup final

Kortney Hause (on City’s 6-1 win at Villa Park): “We all know how good Man City are but I honestly think it was an off day from us. They are not that much better than us, not by that scoreline.

“This is one game at Wembley and we are going to compete. We have to.

“It was pretty embarrassing what happened at Villa Park. We showed them too much respect. That is literally all I can put it down to.

“If you show top quality players too much respect they are going to punish you and that is what happened.”

WATCH: Sane takes confidence from comeback

Opinion

Manchester Evening News: How win vs Real Madrid has changed the game for Man City opponents

Shaun Wright-Phillips: “It was amazing. I watched it with one of my brothers at a mate's house and we were jumping for joy - especially when we got the penalty,"

"It was different tactics from Pep, which worked and were amazing and showed people what we're actually capable of.

"Everybody always expects Man City to play one way and he has just showed there's multiple ways that City can play - and he did it on the world stage.

"I'm amazed and grateful that he's staying because he's done a terrific job and his influence on the club as well as the owners has been a revelation, especially for the City fans who have been there when it wasn't always on the up and they deserve the rewards in the same way that the players and club do."

 

The Mirror: Influential Pep Guardiola deserves to lift the Champions League trophy again

Robbie Savage: “Pep Guardiola could go on to win the Champions League after one of the bravest selections – and most brilliant tactical masterplans – by an English club in Europe.

“And if Manchester City lift the European Cup in Istanbul, Guardiola will deserve it.

“If they are anywhere near their best, I expect City to win the Carabao Cup final against Aston Villa this weekend and for their coach to land his sixth major trophy in three seasons.

“But City's 2-1 win against Real Madrid in midweek was so audacious it took your breath away.”

In other news

The FA: England captains Harry Kane and Steph Houghton make our pledge of positivity

The FA: “England captains Steph Houghton and Harry Kane became the first people to make our Pledge of Positivity, encouraging others to follow suit.

“We’ve launched the ‘Pledge of Positivity’ which asks parents and spectators involved in U18s grassroots football to commit to creating a more positive environment at matches across the country.

“A recent survey conducted by The FA and Nielsen found 88 per cent of over 1000 grassroots participants cite parents as a driver of disrespect in grassroots football.

“To have an impact on this off-pitch behaviour, we’ve launched the Pledge of Positivity, encouraging those on the sidelines to support all players involved and respect referees, coaches and other spectators.

“And the two England skippers also penned a joint letter to parents and spectators, which was painted into the touchlines at their childhood clubs - Harry’s Ridgeway Rovers in Essex and Steph’s Boldon Girls in South Shields, ahead of last weekend’s youth team matches.”

Lionesses captain Houghton added: “Positivity is essential in football. It’s important to create an environment where everyone enjoys playing.

“There are small things you can do on the touchline – like applauding good play from both teams – that has a big impact on young players.”