Chelsea and Tottenham face each other in the Capital One Cup final today and although Mauricio Pochettino’s side played just two days ago in the Europa League, he has a full squad to choose from unlike his opposition manager Jose Mourinho.
The blues will go into the game without Nemanja Matic and John Obi Mikel. Matic will start his two-game suspension after receiving a straight red following an altercation with Burnley’s Ashley Barnes while John Obi Mikel is still out injured with a dodgy knee. Matic and Mikel’s absence will mean that Brazilian midfielder Ramires will play alongside Cesc Fabregas in the midfield.
Goalkeeper Petr Cech has made three appearances in the League Cup but could be second choice to Thibaut Courtois who is expected to start. Mourinho will put his strongest lineup but will have to keep in mind the presence of Harry Kane as the last time he faced Chelsea, he tore apart their defense. Mourinho might consider Kurt Zouma ahead of either Gary Cahill or John Terry. Cahill could make way for Zouma as Terry’s experience in such a big game will be handy for Mourinho.
In attack, he’ll most likely go with the tried and tested. Eden Hazard and Willian will be expected to occupy the wide areas with Oscar in the middle. Diego Costa will start his first final in his debut season with the blues.
Tottenham team news
Mauricio Pochettino did not start with Harry Kane when his side traveled to Florence. Kyle Walker, Danny Rose and Ryan Mason were also on the bench as the Argentine was clearly saving the best for today’s final.
He’ll have to decide whether to start Hugo Lloris or Michel Vorm in goal as the latter has played every single minute in the run to the final and has put in good displays in the process. Another headache that Pochettino has is whom to pick in defense. With Eric Dier, Jan Vertonghen, Federico Fazio and Vlad Chiriches at his disposal, Pochettino will have to choose wisely as his defense will be up against Diego Costa and co. At the moment though, it’s likely that Vertonghen and Dier will start with Rose and Walker playing as the full backs.
Mason and Bentaleb are expected to play in front of the defense and will be key for their side. In attack, we could see Andros Townsend and Nacer Chadli starting with Christian Eriksen playing down the middle. Harry Kane is expected to lead the line.