Carabao Cup: Mourinho Plots Chelsea Exit In Clash Vs Spurs
Jose Mourinho will go into Tuesday’s Carabao Cup clash with the hope of halting former club Chelsea’s ambitions of going far in this season’s competition.
A place in the fifth round is up for grabs, but both teams must recover from disappointing weekend draws in the Premier League.
Chelsea will bank on their recent performances against Spurs having won the last four meetings between these two sides across all competitions, including the most recent EFL Cup clash and their only previous visit to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The Blues have not won five successive editions of this fixture since a run of six ended in January 2002, while they are also looking to win back-to-back away games at Spurs for the first time since 2005.
The Carabao Cup poses an interesting question this season as Mourinho was brought in to succeed where Mauricio Pochettino could not – winning trophies – and, for the fans and players, ending a trophy drought which stretches back to 2008 could be as important as returning to the top four this season.
Spurs fans will remember fondly that Chelsea were their opponents in the 2008 final of this competition, when Jonathan Woodgate’s header handed the club their most recent major trophy.
The two sides also met in the 2015 final, with Chelsea winning on that occasion, and Spurs have only made it past the fourth round once in five seasons since then.
Tuesday’s match will be their 11th League Cup meeting in total, with Chelsea edging the head-to-head record five wins to three in this competition.
Meanwhile, Heung-Min Son has since been ruled out for “a while” with a hamstring problem, joining Japhet Tanganga and returning star Gareth Bale on the sidelines.
Moussa Sissoko was due to be on the bench against Newcastle but withdrew 30 minutes before kickoff because of illness, so it remains to be seen whether the quick turnaround gives him enough time to recover.
Changes are inevitable for Spurs and, despite the strength of opponent and lure of silverware, it would not be a surprise to see Mourinho name an entirely different XI to the one which started against Newcastle.
That could mean a debut for new signing Sergio Reguilon at left-back, while the likes of Tanguy Ndombele, Toby Alderweireld and Joe Hart could also come into the team.
Chelsea have a less urgent need to rotate and rest players for this match with the comparative luxury of four days until their next game, but changes are still likely given the competition.
A defensive horror-show in the first half against West Brom could see a reshuffle, with Marcos Alonso – hooked at half time on Saturday – the first name out to be replaced by Chilwell.
Mendy could make his debut, while the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Olivier Giroud and Jorginho will be expecting starts.
The match is likely to come too soon for Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic, while Billy Gilmour is a longer-term absentee.
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