As Chelsea and Tottenham are set to clash at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, not only will the fate of the Capital One Cup be decided, the beginning of this season’s end will be signaled as well.
Moving onto the game itself, both teams are arriving in good form, with Chelsea sitting five points clear of City atop the Premier League table and Spurs in the thick of the Champions’ League qualification fight.
After Mauricio Pochettino’s side swaggered out of White Hart Lane with three points against the Blues on New Year’s Day, Jose Mourinho will be sure to have his men extra motivated. Even though he won’t have reliable holding midfielder Nemanja Matic at his disposal due to suspension, the emergence of young French defender Kurt Zouma should have Chelsea fans salivating, and the team only gets stronger moving up the field.
With the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard providing creative flair in the midfield, striker Diego Costa could be primed to have a big day. On the other side, though, Spurs have some firepower of their own to provide. For all Costa can do, Hugo Lloris could easily stake his claim for best keeper in the league, and his defense provides extra protection.
In the middle of the field, Nabil Bentaleb could have a breakout game tomorrow, seeing as Matic’s absence leaves a major opportunity for someone to seize control of the games tempo. In the attacking third, the free-kick potency of Christian Eriksen will cause John Terry and the like not to lunge into tackles, leaving the red-hot Harry Kane room to wreak havoc. Tactically, both managers have established a certain team identity by this point in their tenure, even though that period has been a bit shorter on Pochettino’s side.
Even though this competition might not hold the same level of prestige as that of the FA cup, silverware is silverware, and both sides will recognize the value of getting momentum.
As the Premier League table tightens up closer and closer to the end of the season, tomorrow’s Capital One Cup clash between Chelsea and Tottenham could serve to set the stage for months to come.