The two London clubs will go head-to-head at Wembley with both teams battling to secure their fifth league cup triumph. Jose Mourinho’s side will be hoping to exact revenge against Tottenham after losing to their London rivals in the League Cup final in 2008. Let’s take a detailed look at our opponents.
The History of Tottenham Hotspurs
Founded in 1882, Tottenham won the FA Cup for the first time in 1901. Spurs were the first club in the 20th century to achieve the League and FA cup double, winning both competitions in the 1960-61 season. In the 1980s Spurs won several trophies, when it won the League Cup once more in 2008, it meant that it had won a major trophy in each of the last six decades – an achievement only matched by Manchester United. The club’s Latin motto is Audere est Facere (lit: “To Dare Is to Do”) and its emblem is a cockerel standing upon a football.
After fielding a weak team, Spurs were defeated 2-0 in the Europa League last 32 second leg against Fiorentina and were eliminated 3-1 on aggregate. But have had a mixed form in the last month or so, they have failed to win any of their last 4 games and nobody can predict which Spurs side will turn up for the final. They have won only 4 of their 9 Premier League matches immediately following European outings this season.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men face a challenge in terms of picking themselves up after a disappointing defeat 72 hours prior to the big day, but posses the advantage of their star performers well rested and raring to win silverware.
Road to Wembley
Spurs have knocked out Nottingham Forest, Brighton & Hove Albion, Newcastle United and Sheffield United to reach their third League Cup showdown in eight seasons.
Mauricio Pochettino usually opts for a 4-2-3-1 formation. They often play wide with their two attacking full-backs teaming up with their attacking wingers. Their midfield duo will guard the center backs intersecting the opponents attack. Pochettino’s tactics are well praised and Spurs pressurize their opponents in great fashion.
Unlike Jose Mourinho, Mauricio Pochettino only found out on Friday morning which players will be fit and firing for Sunday. The Manager will be delighted that he has all options available to him for this cup final as he has no injuries or suspensions within his squad. Spurs made seven changes before facing Fiorentina, benching their star players Kane, Townsend, Walker and Paulinho before they face Chelsea. With their regular weekend squad back in action, Spurs will have all the strength needed to make the Blues work hard for a victorious night.
Player to watch out for
Harry Kane: Tottenham’s Harry Kane is a phenomenon. He has been at Spurs throughout his youth career and worked hard during his loaned opportunities in lower division clubs. With 24 goals in all competitions and pitted to be included in the English Squad, he has emerged this season as one of England’s brightest attacking prospects.
He’s quick, strong and has great link up play with the trio behind him. An intelligent striker who can find his way around defenders and can get into great positions to find the net. He has already troubled the experienced John Terry and Garry Cahill in the 5-3 thrashing at White Heart Lane and scored plenty of goals against top teams in the Premier League. After coming off the bench in the 63rd minute against Fiorentina, fatigue will definitely not play a part for Kane this Sunday.
Pochettino has tactically improved Spurs from what they used to be. They play the pressing game very well forcing the opponent to give up possession under pressure. The three attacking player behind the striker quite often interchange their roles and have great link-up play . Spurs have two fast and attacking full backs who are ready to deliver consistent crosses in the box and paddle back chasing the opposition winger. They have a technician and physical presence in the midfield duo of Mousa Dembele and Nabil Bentaleb.
Their defense has been the weakest point throughout this season. With their attacking style of play Tottenham tend to falter during counter attacks. Vertonghen has been more inconsistent than his first season making silly challenges in and around the box giving the opposition plenty of chances to score. Youngster Dier has seen off the challenges of Vladimir Chiriches and Younes Kaboul to become Tottenham’s first-choice center half but his inexperience during big games leaves a big hole in the Tottenham defense.
Head to Head
These two teams have played each other 134 times prior to this match, Chelsea have won 57 of those games, losing 44 to Spurs with the other 33 games ending all square, with a total of 397 goals, which gives us an average goals per game statistic of 2.96.
1. Both Chelsea and Tottenham are looking to secure their fifth League Cup success. Only two sides have managed to achieve this – Liverpool (eight League Cups) and Aston Villa (five).
2. Chelsea’s last two League Cup final victories came under Jose Mourinho in 2005 and 2007.
3. Harry Kane has been involved in more of Spurs’ goals in this competition than any other player so far
Jose Mourinho sealed his first trophy on English soil 10 years ago when Chelsea edged an entertaining League Cup final 3-2 against Liverpool at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium and the Portuguese manager will be hoping to capture it once again. But the Blues have to do it without their midfield “Spider” Nemanja Matic, who has been suspended for two games. Spurs on the other hand having lost against Fiorentina on Thursday will be up against a team who have had all week to prepare for this fixture, giving the Blues a fraction of advantage over their London rivals.
No matter the result it is bound to be a thrilling and entertaining London Derby.
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Edited By: Ankur Bhatt