After a lively FA Cup weekend, the Carabao Cup takes centre stage this midweek as Tottenham Hotspur kick off the Semi-Finals against Chelsea at Wembley.
Both teams know that this cup competition is their best hope of lifting a trophy this season, making this match even more crucial in gaining that advantage to take to Stamford Bridge in a fortnight’s time.
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Lucas Moura has been ruled out of this match for Tottenham with a knee injury.
Erik Lamela meanwhile is available after missing their FA Cup victory at Tranmere through illness whilst Eric Dier (appendix) and Victor Wanyama (knee) continue their rehabilitation.
Jan Vertonghen (thigh) and Mousa Dembele (ankle) are almost ready to return to the matchday squad but won’t be risked here.
Vincent Janssen is close to a first team return from a foot injury after featuring for the U23s against Liverpool.
Chelsea could be without a key trio of players as Oliver Giroud (ankle), Pedro (thigh) and Willian (hamstring) all face late fitness tests.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is ruled out with a back injury so Mateo Kovacic could return after recovering from illness. Cesc Fabregas could be on bench after suffering cramp in his calf during latter stages against Nottingham Forest in FA Cup at weekend.
- Tottenham have met Chelsea on eight occasions in this competition, avoiding defeat in four of those meetings (W2, D2, L4).
- This fixture has been played at this stage of the League Cup twice before, with both sides collecting an overall win each. (1990-91 – Chelsea won 3-0 on aggregate after drawing first leg 0-0 then scoring three goals in return leg, 2001-02 – Tottenham won 6-3 on aggregate after losing first leg 2-1 before winning home leg 5-1)
- Tottenham are unbeaten in three of last five meetings in all competitions, winning both of last two clashes by a 3-1 result (W3, L2).
- Dele Alli and Son Heung-min have scored five of Tottenham’s seven goals in this season’s Carabao Cup (excluding penalties) between them.
- Eden Hazard’s two goals for Chelsea this season in this competitions have come a minute apart after he scored in 85th minute against Liverpool then in 84th minute against Bournemouth.
Given Tottenham’s form since November, Chelsea need to really step it up here and try get at least an away goal to take into the second leg.
I however am going for a home win because Spurs are looking ready to overcome this step and make their first final under Mauricio Pochettino, whilst Chelsea have injury concerns plus an inconsistent Alvaro Morata.
Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Chelsea
Result: Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Chelsea