In the 2015 Capital One Cup final on Sunday, Chelsea will meet Tottenham. Jose Mourinho’s Premier League leaders are the favourites to carry the first domestic trophy of the season home. This is a chance for both teams’ coaches, Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino and Chelsea’s Mourinho to win some silverware since their hiring. 10 years ago, the Portuguese coach earned his first trophy on English soil when Chelsea beat Liverpool at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium in an entertaining League Cup final, winning 3-2. This match up should be just as exciting. It will be the third time these two sides have met at the new Wembley, as both squads have a win to their name. Tottenham first won in the League Cup final against the Blues back in 2008, but Chelsea was able to get revenge dominating them in the 2012 FA Cup semi-final.
This time, things are looking up for Chelsea again, since the Premier League leaders will get to the final pretty much unscathed. The Blues have scored the opening goal in each of their matches on their way to the final, and have yet to trail once in this year’s tournament. That bodes well for the team who recently lost star player midfield general Nemanja Matic to a two-game suspension in the aftermath of last week’s heated affair against Burnley, the first of which will be served on Sunday. Mourinho has claimed that Matic’s suspension and injury to John Obi Mikel will give Tottenham the upper hand, but many see this as posturing, as Mourinho on paper still has the stronger team, despite being weakened in midfield. The replacement, Ramires, should be quite effective, alongside Cesc Fabregas they will form a very effective deeper midfield pairing.
But Pochettino’s side will still try to spoil Mourinho’s party. He will probably use Harry Kane to spearhead a high-tempo attack, with plenty of runners off him to give him support. Kane’s emergence as a key player for the Spurs has played an integral role in their improvement over the last few months, because now, he definitely fits into the way Pochettino wants his team to play. And an added advantage the Spurs have is that they will be dressing a healthy squad as they have no fresh injuries. With a full roster and the drive to prove themselves against their rivals, it should lead up to an exciting outing, In their last two meetings, 11 goals were scored and high scoring is to be expected again. Another threat Tottenham poses is that its players are fitter under Pochettino’s training philosophy which means they can work exceptionally hard late on in games and score goals in the final minutes. Only Manchester City and Arsenal have scored more goals in the final 10 minutes of league games than Tottenham has, who now have nine.
No matter what case you make, it should be an exciting game, but we still see Mourinho’s side raising the League Cup.
Our Pick: Chelsea over Tottenham, 3-2