Tottenham v Chelsea
Wednesday 12 January, 19:45 kick-off
Live on Sky Sports
Wednesday’s Game of the Day comes from north London as Tottenham look for a miraculous comeback against Chelsea to somehow scrape their way into the Carabao Cup final.
Everything went wrong for Spurs in the first leg at Stamford Bridge last week so Chelsea take what looks an unassailable 2-0 lead into the second leg with a trip to Wembley looking highly likely.
But can Spurs spring a huge surprise or will Chelsea march through with ease?
Here’s what to watch out for in this big game along with our two suggested bets that YOU can vote for to have the price specially enhanced by the Betfair traders…
Can Conte conjure up some magic?
Spurs fans are generally full of hope now Antonio Conte is in charge but, although they had big injury problems, the manner of their 2-0 loss at Chelsea was classic Tottenham stuff whenever a trophy seems to be in sight.
Conte has admitted that Spurs aren’t at the same level as Chelsea, but in this game of all games he needs a performance, even if they can’t complete the turnaround the fans will want to see a display that will give them hope that they are in fact heading in the right direction.
“We have to try to give everything tomorrow, to show great desire, great will to fight.”
Antonio previews tomorrow’s semi-final second-leg against Chelsea.
? Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 11, 2022
Some key men are still missing for Spurs, with Heung-min Son, Eric Dier, Steven Bergwijn and Cristian Romero all out, but Conte needs to find a way to get a better level of performance against top opposition.
Conte says he’s held positive talks with the club over where signings need to be made, but whether Daniel Levy backs his manager remains to be seen – he’s not exactly known for splashing the cash.
If the Italian can somehow mastermind a victory here big enough to get them to Wembley, Levy may have no choice but to open the cheque book and bring Conte the reinforcements he’s calling for.
Tuchel close to more trophy success
Only seven managers have ever led a team to both English cup finals and the European Cup final, but Thomas Tuchel is just a game away from becoming the eighth – after less that a year in charge.
Bob Paisley, Brian Clough, Alex Ferguson, Rafael Benítez, Arsene Wenger, Avram Grant and Pep Guardiola are the men Tuchel is aiming to match after getting to Wembley in the FA Cup final and winning the Champions League in his first few months in charge of the Blues.
It’s some effort from the German who admittedly took over a squad dripping with expensive talent, but nonetheless he’s added that ruthless streak and thirst for silverware that means he will not be taking anything for granted even with a 2-0 lead.
Another look at Chelsea’s second goal of the night
Look away now Spurs fans pic.twitter.com/bjXfucvIXF
? Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) January 5, 2022
“I would say we have no foot in the final,” said Tuchel. “Not half a foot or one foot, why lose energy thinking about this? Spurs are a very good team and a top, top coach so we need to be prepared. Maybe it is better not to think too much.”
Tuchel is again without Reece James, Ben Chilwell and Trevoh Chalobah, while he’ll make late decisions over Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante.
Stats & form – history against Spurs
Only one team has previously lost the first leg of the League Cup semi-final by more than one goal and still made the final – so Spurs will join the Aston Villa side from 1994 in the record books if they can pull this off.
It’d be a shock to Chelsea though who have won their last 13 two-legged contests when winning the first game – last seeing a lead wiped out by Liverpool in the 2007 Champions League semi-final. Chelsea have only lost once when winning a first leg by more than a goal.
And Chelsea of course have already beaten Spurs twice this season – winning 2-0 and 3-0 – so they’re going for a third win in a season against their rivals for the first time in a decade.
Spurs do have some form for turning these ties around though, as they’ve lost three previous League Cup semi-final first legs and managed to get one back – ironically against Chelsea in 2002 when they ran out 5-1 winners in the second leg.
And with Spurs losing just one of their five League Cup home ties with Chelsea they’ll be hopeful of at least winning the game, whether it’s enough to get them through is another matter.
Best bets and OddsBoost
Tuchel doesn’t strike you as the type of coach who’ll send his side out to finish the job with an early goal even though they have the talent to, with Chelsea more likely to try and make it three games and three clean sheets this season against Spurs – that’ll do the job nicely.
Spurs have also gone two home games with Chelsea without finding the net, but overall they’ve bagged at least two in their last four at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and although this tie is all in Chelsea’s hands, the game itself is finely balanced.
? Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) January 5, 2022
It’ll obviously be Harry Kane if it’s anyone, especially with Son out, although Kane’s not scored a home goal against Chelsea since 2019 – albeit in this stage of this competition.
It’s no goals in the last six against Chelsea for Kane now after he didn’t have a sniff in the first leg with just one shot and no touches in the Blues’ box all game.
Kane is still just a 6/5 chance to score anytime here.
Kai Havertz has scored five goals in the Carabao Cup and in every one of his three appearances in the tournament his season. He’s 15/8 to become the first Chelsea player to score in both legs of a League Cup semi-final since Mark Hughes against Arsenal in 1997-98.
He stars in our two suggested OddsBoosts below, which YOU can have increased in price by the Betfair traders by watching out for a vote on @Betfair.