In the repeat of the 2008 final, Chelsea take on Tottenham Hotspur looking to reverse the result seven years ago. It was an eventful night back then with the North Londoners prevailing 2-1 after extra time, thanks to a Jonathan Woodgate header. Exactly a decade ago, Jose Mourinho in his first season at Chelsea won the erstwhile League Cup and used that to instill a winning mentality back then that was used to achieve a period of dominance at the domestic level.
Speaking to ESPN FC, John Terry said, “It was the first one for the team, which made a big impact through all the squad. “It set us on our way. It gave us a taste of what we wanted and wanted it more. I think it brought the squad closer together.”
“A lot of people write this competition off, but for me it is huge, and we look back on that 2004-05 season. It had a huge impact on our confidence and momentum.”
“Like everyone, I felt something different when the manager came in [in 2004]. It was a different mentality — everything was about winning. He made that clear from day one. That rippled through the whole squad, through the academy, through the whole club really. And he has continued that. He has brought that back again this time.
“It’s a first chance for a first trophy. There’s a few new players like that because it has been a couple of years since we won anything. It is an important competition.”
Mourinho will be hoping to usher a similar era and that’s why it is imperative to win the trophy on Sunday before they look to achieve bigger and better things.
As for Mauricio Pochettino, the Argentinian will be looking at the final to boost confidences ahead of the final few months with Spurs embroiled in the race for the top four. They got knocked out of the Europa League on Thursday in Florence, and this remains their only opportunity to win any silverware since the last time they faced Chelsea in the final.
Spurs have won just three trophies in the past 31 years and they won’t get too many chances to add to that collection. Mourinho meanwhile is going through his longest drought as a manager, with three years having gone by since his last triumph.
Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur Team News
Chelsea: Nemanja Matic is suspended while John Obi Mikel is injured so Ramires should start alongside Cesc Fabregas in midfield.
Tottenham: Harry Kane, Andros Townsend and Kyle Walker were all substitutes against Fiorentina and will start in the final. It remains to be seen if Pochettino sticks with Michel Vorm in goal as the former Swansea man has started every League Cup game so far.
Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur Possible Lineups:
Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Luis; Ramires, Fabregas; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Costa
Tottenham: Vorm; Walker, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose; Bentaleb, Mason, Lamela, Dembele, Eriksen; Kane
Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur Interesting Stats
- Chelsea was on a 10 match undefeated run against Spurs in all competitions before their 5-3 hammering at White Hart Lane on New Year’s Day.
- Chelsea have won all their three cup finals at Wembley under Mourinho: League Cups in 2005 and 2007 and the FA Cup in 2007.
- A win for either side will take them level with Aston Villa on 5 League Cup wins, only behind Liverpool’ 8.
- Spurs have played 44 matches this season, more than any other Premier League team.
- Spurs have scored only 2 goals in the first half of their League Cup matches, with 10 coming in the second half.
Stats compiled from Eurosport
Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur Prediction
Tottenham haven’t won in any of their last four games in all competitions and it is unlikely to be an outright win on Sunday. However, if they do stay in the game for 90 minutes, extra time will be tough against a rested Chelsea side who should win by the odd goal.