Spurs go to Stamford Bridge on Thursday hoping to progress to the final of the Carabao Cup for the first time since 2015. Harry Kane’s penalty in the first leg at Wembley is all that separates the two sides, however the Spurs striker is unavailable for the second leg along with Heung-min Son and Dele Alli. However Spurs can take confidence in the fact that they have won in their last three matches against Chelsea and will be hoping to make that four in a row tonight.
Chelsea come into the second leg with something to prove, having lost 2-0 to Arsenal at the weekend. Despite starting the season brilliantly, there are a few rumblings of discontent with Maurizio Sarri’s refusal to switch things up, with the influence of midfielder Jorginho being questioned as well as his decision to play N’golo Kante in a more attacking role. Sarri was critical of the mentality of his players after that Arsenal defeat, so will be expecting a response at Stamford Bridge against Spurs.
Unlike previous years, away goals will not count in semi-finals of the Carabao Cup. If Chelsea and Spurs are level on aggregate at the end of the ninety minutes then the match will go straight to penalties.
Chelsea v Spurs Carabao Cup Team News
ICYMI: A reminder of our latest team news ahead of tonight's trip to Stamford Bridge. #COYS
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 24, 2019
After Dele Alli went off injured against Fulham on Sunday, Mauricio Pochettino must have been thinking what he needed to do to get some luck with injuries. It was confirmed on Tuesday that, like Harry Kane, Alli will be out until March yet Spurs have also been handed some positive injury news.
Pochettino confirmed in his press conference on Wednesday that Moussa Sissoko, Lucas Moura and Victor Wanyama have all returned to first team training. Sissoko and Moura are expected to be involved in some capacity against Chelsea whereas Wanyama is expected to miss out, with Crystal Palace on Sunday being a more realistic target for him.
South Korea progressed against Bahrain in the Asian Cup after extra time, so Heung-min Son will still miss out along with Alli and Kane.
With an FA Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday, Sarri is expected to once again go with a strong Chelsea line up. Gonzalo Higuain will not be available as the striker was not registered in time, meaning Eden Hazard could start as the solo striker if Olivier Giroud is again not fancied.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is still suffering from a back injury and is unlikely to play so either Mateo Kovacic or Ross Barkley will start in midfield with Kante and the under pressure Jorginho.
Chelsea v Spurs Carabao Cup Predicted Team
Once again Paulo Gazzaniga is expected to start in goal for Spurs in the Carabao Cup. In front of him it is likely that Pochettino will employ a back three of Davinson Sanchez, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen like he did against Fulham. In the wing back positions it is likely that Kieran Trippier will continue on the right hand side, with Ben Davies coming in on the left.
In front of them Harry Winks will continue in central midfield with either Eric Dier or Moussa Sissoko alongside him. Pochettino did not give much away about team selection but we think that Sissoko will more likely be used as an option off the bench at Stamford Bridge.
On the other hand, Lucas Moura could immediately be put back into the starting eleven after recovering from injury, with Pochettino limited with his attacking options, although Christian Eriksen will probably play in a more advanced role to the one he did against Fulham.
Fernando Llorente could therefore start for the second match in a row for Spurs, with under 23 strikers Kazaiah Sterling and Troy Parrott in contention to have a place on the bench after both were pictured training with the first team this week.
What The Managers Said
Spurs Manager Mauricio Pochettino
“We are going to be there trying to win the game, but we cannot, winning or losing, say that we don’t have enough squad to be involved or to arrive at the end of the season fighting in four competitions. That is football. It is circumstance. You can win with one or another names and lose with one or another names. I don’t want to put up an excuse. We need to go there and be brave and try to win. If we win we are going to say well done, if not we will congratulate the opponent and keep going because I think this season so far has been a fantastic season.”
“Until last season (Spurs’ record against Chelsea) was a very bad record, I think it was 27 years since Tottenham won there. Of course why not win again? Always I am positive. After the game maybe I will tell you too much positive. But I am always positive and optimistic, I trust in my players and squad and for sure we are going to fight and try to give our best to try to be in the final at Wembley.” (football.london)
Chelsea Manager Maurizio Sarri
Consecutive league matches Maurizio Sarri has played a 4-3-3 formation — 1⃣3⃣4⃣
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) January 23, 2019
“I think we need to react on the pitch. The rest is nothing. We discussed with the players how to try to improve the approach, the motivation, the determination. And so we are trying to change something in training, in pre-match, in everything. But I think we all have to react on the pitch, of course.”
“Mauricio started three or four years ago. It’s different. But we want to win, tomorrow, of course. We know very well it will be difficult because they are a very good team. But we have to try and, I think, we can do it.” (football.london)
Chelsea v Spurs Carabao Cup Referee
Martin Atkinson will be the referee at Stamford Bridge. He has already officiated a match between the two sides this season, which was the 3-1 Spurs victory at Wembley in November. In the twenty matches he has refereed in this season, Atkinson has dished out fifty-nine yellow cards as well as five penalties.
Spurs v Chelsea Carabao Cup Prediction
There is no doubt that it is going to be a testing night at Stamford Bridge for Spurs, particularly given the absence of Son, Kane and Alli, all of whom started in the first leg. It also promises to be a game full of entertainment, which is why we’re predicting a nervy ending and penalty kicks.
Our prediction is Chelsea 2-1 Spurs, with Spurs to go through on penalties. Expect some Paulo Gazzaniga heroics if it does go all the way!
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