Date: Thursday 24th January 2019
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Tonight’s game sees us back against Spurs for the 2nd leg of the Carabao Cup.
Plenty are kidding themselves that with Kane, Alli and Son all out, our players will take the best opportunity they’ll get to overturn the 1-0 deficit from the first leg – I’m not buying that though. We might only have lost to them by the dodgiest of margins in the first leg but they have already beaten us comfortably in the league, as did Arsenal at the weekend.
These are games former Chelsea sides would have been well up for, but the current players are a different breed altogether and they’re as well-led as the Labour party right now. Whilst the world and his wife have been reliably informed the problem is they’re a difficult group to motivate, William Hill won’t be losing any sleep over the chances of Sarri sending out exactly the same side to play exactly the same way.
And if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
After publicly having a go at the players at the weekend, going into tonight’s game, Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri says “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, so we are trying to change something in training, in pre-match, in everything. I think we all have to react on the pitch, of course.”
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino meanwhile, says “I am so optimistic. We are going to prepare for Chelsea, try to find solutions. Try to be solid, aggressive, offensive and keep our identity. Of course it’s going to be tough. I don’t say we’re going to win easily on Thursday. But we are going to try. That is the most important thing and I know that afterwards I will be happy because the squad we have is going to give their best to be in the final.”
For Chelsea, Ruben Loftus-Cheek (back) is injured. Alvaro Morata is being moved on in favour of Gonzalo Higuain, who didn’t sign in time to play tonight, so Sarri will undoubtedly opt to play our best player out of position yet again.
For Tottenham, Dele Alli (hamstring) and Harry Kane (ankle) are out, whilst Heung-min Son is on international duty. Lucas Moura (knee) and Moussa Sissoko (groin) could return.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Pedro, Hazard, Willian
TOTTENHAM (Possible line-up): Lloris; Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Davies; Eriksen, Lamela, Llorente
LAST MEETING (EFL Cup Semi-final 1st leg)
Tottenham 1-0 Chelsea (8th January 2019)
CURRENT FORM (ALL)
- Chelsea have lost both of their meetings with Tottenham this season
- The last time Chelsea lost three games against the same opponent in a season was vs Man City in 2012-13.
- Tottenham are looking to win four games in a row against Chelsea in all competitions for the first time in over 50 years.
- The last time Tottenham beat a team three times in the same season was in 2013-14 vs Villa
- Chelsea have not lost consecutive home games against Spurs in all competitions since March 1982.
- Chelsea have progressed to the final on only one out of the previous five occasions when they have lost the first leg of a League Cup semi-final tie
- Tottenham have progressed on three of the five previous occasions they won a League Cup semi-final first leg
Sky Sports: Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham
Sportsmole: Chelsea 1-2 Tottenham