Chelsea face Tottenham at Stamford Bridge in the second leg of the Carabao Cup.
The Blues are looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg, to progress to the final of the cup,
Harry Kane’s penalty was the difference between the two sides at Wembley. Arguably Chelsea were the better team and deserved a positive result from the first leg, however lacking a focal point upfront costed them in that game.
The winner of this Semi-Final is Very likely to face Manchester City in the final, as they are in action tonight against Burton Albion in the second leg of their semi-final at the Pirelli Stadium.
And unless a miracle happens, the Manchester club will progress to the final, as they are 9-0 up on aggregate from the first leg.
Tottenham come into this second leg in better form than the Blues, after their Vital 2-1 win away to Fulham in the London derby on the weekend. Whereas the Blues suffered a humiliating 2-0 defeat Arsenal in another London derby on the weekend.
The result of the Arsenal game infuriated Maurizio Sarri, he accused his players of many things, including the fact that they are apparently ‘difficult to motivate’ according to the Italian boss. Sarri will be looking for a positive reaction from his team tomorrow, as they look to get back on the right track.
Recent for both teams in all competitions
Chelsea have no fresh injury news.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is out for this game as he is still recovering from his back injury.
Chelsea face Sheffield Wednesday on the weekend in the FA Cup, so that is probably the game where Maurizio Sarri will make mass changes to his side.
So his side that he picked for the Arsenal game will probably be a similar side to the one fielded tomorrow, with maybe a few alterations.
Chelsea have looked short of firepower against the top teams, and that could lead to Olivier Giroud being drafted into the starting lineup at the expense of Willian/Pedro.
Gonzalo Higuain did not sign in time for the deadline to be registered for the match, which was 12pm today, so the Argentine striker is likely to make his debut on Sunday against Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup.
Tottenham are hit with a Injury crisis at the moment.
Dele Alli is the latest player to be added to the list, after he sustained a hamstring strain, which will keep him out until March. The other players on that injury list include Kane and Sissoko.
Son is away with South Korea at the Asia Cup, so will not feature in this match.
The return of Eric Dier has provided Pochettino with an extra option, and that could lead to the defensive-minded player being used alongside Harry Winks in midfield.
Lucas Moura is nearing a comeback after a knee problem, but the Brazilian may only be named among the replacements with each of Erik Lamela and Fernando Llorente staying in the starting lineup.
Predicted Line-Ups for both sides
Chelsea predicted starting eleven- Kepa, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic, Pedro, Giroud, Hazard.
Tottenham predicted starting eleven- Lloris, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Trippier, Dier, Winks, Davies, Eriksen, Lamela, Llorente.
Chelsea Manager: Maurizio Sarri
Sarri on player power backlash at Chelsea: “No, why? I can’t understand why. We need to discuss about our problems, I think. The first step to improve is to accept the mistake otherwise it is impossible to improve. It is normal.”
Sarri on improving mentality: “The situation can change suddenly without logical reason sometimes. It depends on the atmosphere around the player but we have some players with the characteristics to be a leader. Azpi & Luiz. They can help the other players”
Sarri on Hazard future: “No, no. I know very well that he is discussing with the club but I don’t know anything else at the moment. I don’t know if he has decided yet that he wants to stay here or have another experience in another club.”
Sarri on Higuian: “He scored 36 goals in 35 matches in Serie A. In the season he scored 39 goals so he did very very well. For sure, he is one of the best strikers that I had in my career.” He points to his experience at Real Madrid giving experience to play here.
Sarri on Higuain playing vs Tottenham: “It is impossible [to be done in time]”
Sarri on Christensen’s toilet break at Arsenal: “I was worried more than anything. You know very well that Christensen on matchdays always has stomach ache. I don’t know the reason but he is always very nervous. I don’t know what to say.”
Tottenham Manager: Mauricio Pochettino
“You are always so excited to play these types of game. The adrenaline is always there.”
“of course we are optimistic, but knowing that it is going to be a real tough game.”
Head to Head record
Chelsea and Tottenham have met on 162 occasions over the years in all competitions with the Blues having a better head to head record overall compared to Spurs. The Blues have beaten their London rivals on 68 occasions in all competitions. There have been 40 draws between these two sides over the years. And Tottenham have beaten Chelsea on 54 occasions.
In recent years, Spurs have had a good head to head record against the Blues, but historically Chelsea have a better head to head record.
In terms of the League Cup head to head, Chelsea just edge it, with the Blues beating Spurs 4 times over the years in the League Cup (Known now as the Carabao Cup). There have been 2 draws between these two sides in the League Cup. And Spurs have beaten Chelsea 3 times now in the League Cup after their 1-0 win in the first leg recently.
Betting Odds/My Prediction
Betfair have priced Chelsea to qualify at 4/5. And they have priced Tottenham to qualify at 5/6. So Betfair don’t think there is a clear winner from this tie, and therefore there isn’t much splitting the sides in terms of the betting odds.
First goalscorer odds (Betfair)
- Eden Hazard: 4/1
- Olivier Giroud: 9/2
- Lucas Moura: 12/1
- Fernando Llorente: 17/2
My realistic prediction for this game is a 1-1 draw.
But my optimistic prediction for this game is a 3-1 Chelsea win. I just have a feeling that the players will respond well after they were criticised by Sarri at the weekend. I also think Chelsea will be helped in this match considering the fact that Tottenham are going through a injury crisis at the moment. I think two goals from Hazard and one from Giroud will help Chelsea progress to the final. Tottenham’s goal will come through Llorente.
Leave me down below your score predictions for this match in the comments.
By Danyal Khan