Chelsea are fresh from the loss in the finals of the World Club Cup, a game which probably hurt them the most this season.The 3-2 loss against Man United had loads of positives to take home and the 0-3 loss to Juve in the Champions League at least made them look forward to the last game and their hopes were still alive at that time in Champions League though they didn’t make it later on.
But the CWC was something they were expected to win and it would have relieved the fans and gotten their season right back on track. But since they lost, Chelsea would really want to win this game against Leeds. Had the season been better for the Blues, they maybe would not have taken this game or the Capital One Cup that seriously. But now they can’t afford to lose, that too to Leeds. And in fact,Capital One Cup looks like the only practical trophy they might win this year.
On the other hand, Leeds will now believe they can go one step closer to the finals. A win will see them go through to the Semi’s joining their Lancashire rivals Bradford who pulled out an amazing result and the shock of the tournament so far when they defeated Arsenal last week. And the fact that Chelsea will be low in confidence mixed with their jet lagged journey from Japan and the fact that many of their first team players will be given a rest for the match,Leeds will believe they can do it.
Who : Leeds United vs Chelsea
What : Capital One Cup Quarter Finals
When : Wednesday,19th December 2012
Time : 7:45 PM GMT
Referee : Andre Marriner
On the night of the Quarter Final Draw, almost every Chelsea fan( at least the older ones and the ones that know the clubs’ history) was praying for a face off against Leeds. It was one of those moments when a club gets real lucky in the draw,not because Leeds is in a lower division or that they’re a weaker team,no, but because of the age old rivalry which these clubs one shared.
They were two very successful teams back in the mid 60’s until the mid 70’s. The regional and cultural differences between the supporters only spiced up this fixture.
It all started in the 60’s when Leeds became a force in England under manager Don Revie and Chelsea were always challenging them and experienced their very own share of success. Chelsea’s legendary goalkeeper Peter Bonetti neatly briefed up the rivalry when he said :
“Leeds had a name, a reputation as being dirty… [and] We matched them in the physical side of things because we had our own players who were physical… We weren’t unalike in the way we played.”
FACT : The TV audience for the 1970 FA CUP FINALS between these two clubs remains the second largest for any sporting event (after the 1966 World Cup final) and it has the sixth largest TV audience of all time – more than any Champions League or European Cup final.
After that era, both the teams had their own share of disappointment. Both teams were relegated in the late 70’s and they continued their rivalry and dominance in the second division.At a Second Division fixture in 1984, which Chelsea won 5-0 to secure the title, Leeds fans responded by destroying Chelsea’s new scoreboard with a scaffolding pole. This was repeated at another 1980s game at Stamford Bridge.
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Both clubs enjoyed another revival in the 1990s, which coincided with a series of “ill-tempered and highly-charged” clashes.
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Doing a Leeds :
But in the late 90s both the clubs went through an economical downfall.Chelsea’s owner back then,Ken Bates, was in huge debts and then Roman Abramovich turned up, bought the club,cleared the debt and we know what happened then on.
Ironically, rumor has it that at one point, Roman was in a fix whether to buy Chelsea or Leeds. And even more ironically, Ken Bates bought Leeds after selling Chelsea. And they eventually got into more debts and got relegated in 2003-04 and Doing a Leeds was a term originated back then which refers to how a once big club eventually ended up being a struggling second division club.
The two teams haven’t met since that season and this clash will be more than just a Cup game.
Leeds United Team News :
- Leeds goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown is hopeful of playing against Chelsea in the League Cup despite a minor injury.
- Jerome Thomas and Captain Lee Peltier are also struggling for fitness
- Alan Tate is cup-tied.
- Leigh Bromby, Rodolph Austin, Davide Somma and Ramon Nunez all remain sidelined.
Even a full strength Leeds side would struggle against a second string Chelsea side and with a number of their key players missing, Leeds will count on home support, Chelsea’s poor run of results and another few tactical glitches from Chelsea’s new manager more than anything else.
Probable Starting XI :
Drury, Lees, Pearce,Byram
Thomas, Tonge, White,
Diouf, Becchio, McCormack
Chelsea Team News :
- John Obi Mikel, Gary Cahill and Ramires are all suspended
- Romeu and John Terry remain unavailable due to injuries
- Striker Daniel Sturridge has recovered from a hamstring injury but he may not be risked against Leeds on Wednesday night.
Lampard’s warning :
Lampard is one of the few players in Rafael Benitez’s squad with experience of the bitter nature of clashes between Chelsea and Leeds. He said:
“There’s a rivalry, we’re aware of it and we have to play on the pitch with passion and do the physical side of things up there, because they’re going to be right at it,” “We can’t expect to go up there and tap it around and get a result. We have to do both sides.”
Mata added :
“Lampard told me about the rivalry. He told me the Seventies was when it started.
“They are always difficult games, competitive between supporters. We just want to play and, if it is possible, to win.”
Probable Starting XI :
Azpilicueta, Ivanovich, Ferreira, Bertrand
Moses, Mata, Marin
If that is the line up Chelsea are fielding in, then they’re in for trouble. They need at least one of Mata,Hazard and Oscar to start along with Petr Cech. But considering the fact that Rafa might get them as substitutes if in trouble, Chelsea should win the game. Leeds 1-3 Chelsea.