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Swansea v Chelsea


It is time for yet another gallant cup performance from Chelsea. How might the Blues overturn the 0-2 first leg deficit to reach the Capital One Cup final?

Key battles
Swansea's success in the first leg was founded on solid defence and opportunist finishing. They scored with their two shots on target, handed to them by two errors. Petr Cech has since returned to fitness and should replace Ross Turnbull, who played that night, in goal.

Michael Laudrup asked his team to defend deep and swamp the middle, with Ki Sung-Yueng instrumental in breaking up the passing between Oscar, Eden Hazard and Juan Mata. The Blues were unable to find space behind Angel Rangel, Chico Flores et al and the chances that arose were not as clear cut as Rafael Benitez would have liked.

Upfront, stomach-illness victim Fernando Torres was off-colour and Demba Ba was not introduced until late in the match because of a slight injury. In a monstrous 10 minutes the substitute consistently troubled the Swans' rearguard with his pace, power and touch.

He was extremely unlucky to be cautioned for simulation after tripping over goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel, then to have a perfectly legitimate strike ruled out for offside. If, as seems likely, the Senegalese striker starts tonight the hosts, including the impressive Ashley Williams, could find themselves stretched from the outset.

Both managers selected strong sides in the league at the weekend, with striker Itay Shechter replaced by transfer-target Danny Graham late on. Set-play specialist Jonathan De Guzman scored twice in Swansea's 3-1 win over Stoke, but that was their first home league win since November.

Key defender Chico was missing from that match and would be a significant miss were injury to rule him out again this evening. Likewise David Luiz for Chelsea, although at present - despite a couple of central midfield absences - Benitez has very good cover.

Chelsea will be hoping for more of the irresistible football displayed against Arsenal in the first half on Sunday, which should have brought more reward than two goals. Swansea like to play the ball out from the back and the Blues' pressing in the final third was impressive.

The influence of Cesar Azpilicueta continues to grow too. The raiding right-back has set up goals in the last two matches, the most recent with a brilliant diagonal pass to Juan Mata. Chelsea's elusive no.10 himself created three and scored one goal in the same two games. Should the Spain midfielder - who played on the wing in the first leg - find similar space on the edge of the Swans' box it could make for a very interesting evening.

Meanwhile the Blues have to find a way to shut out Michu, who scored playing as a striker at the Bridge but also presents a goalscoring threat from a deeper, attacking midfield role.

Laudrup successfully deployed two wingers, Pablo Hernández and Wayne Routledge, to thwart the Blues' full-backs in the first leg. Knowing that only victory by two goals or more will do, Chelsea may feel Azpilicueta and newly re-signed Ashley Cole will have to take risks down the flanks to support the attack against Swansea's vulnerable wide defenders.

Azpilicueta Chelsea v Swansea

The experience and eye for goal of Frank Lampard in these semi-final settings could also be crucial. In his early career the midfielder was on loan from West Ham at Swansea and made his debut for them alongside former Blues keeper Roger Freestone … against 2012/13 Capital One Cup finalists Bradford City.

Squad fitness news
Only Oriol Romeu (knee) is definitely out for Chelsea. David Luiz has travelled and his ankle will be assessed ahead of the game.

Swansea centre-back Chico Flores is reported fit. Midfielder Kemy Agustien is out with an ankle injury.

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Chelsea in the League Cup
Winners: 1964/65, 1997/98, 2004/05, 2006/07
Runners-up: 1971/72, 2007/08
Semi-finalists: 1972/73, 1984/85, 1990/91, 2001/02, 2012/13

By beating Leeds we reached our 11th League Cup semi-final. We have won our last three against Everton, Wycombe Wanderers and Manchester United.

Our 10 previous League Cup semi-finals
1st leg 2nd leg Aggregate
1964/65 Aston Villa A 3-2 H 1-1 4-3
1971/72 Tottenham H 3-2 A 2-2 5-4
1972/73 Norwich H 0-2 A 0-1 0-3
1984/85 Sunderland A 0-2 H 2-3 2-5
1990/91 Sheffield Wed H 0-2 A 1-3 1-5
1997/98 Arsenal A 1-2 H 3-1 4-3
2001/02 Tottenham H 2-1 A 1-5 3-6
2004/05 Man Utd H 0-0 A 2-1 2-1
2006/07 Wycombe A 1-1 H 4-0 5-1
2007/08 Everton H 2-1 A 1-0 3-1
Chelsea score shown first


Last 10 seasons in the League Cup
2001/02 - Semi-final
2002/03 - Quarter-final
2003/04 - Quarter-final
2004/05 - Winners
2005/06 - 3rd round
2006/07 - Winners
2007/08 - Runners-up
2008/09 - 4th round
2009/10 - Quarter-final
2010/11 - 3rd round
2011/12 - Quarter-final


Kerry Dixon is our leading scorer in the League Cup with 25 goals followed by Frank Lampard 11, Peter Osgood and Bobby Tambling 10 and Didier Drogba nine.

Chelsea have won three of our last five penalty shoot-outs, the last being at the Allianz Arena in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.


Last six results
Jan 2 QPR (h) L 0-1
Jan 5 Southampton (FA Cup 3rd round a) W 5-1
Jan 9 Swansea (League Cup semi-final 1st leg h) L 0-2
Jan 12 Stoke (a) W 4-0
Jan 16 Southampton (h) D 2-2
Jan 20 Arsenal (h) W 2-1

2012/13 scorers
Mata 14, Torres 14 (1 pen), Lampard 9 (5 pens), E Hazard 8 (2 pens), Cahill 6, Ivanovic 6, Oscar 6 (1 pen), Moses 5, Ramires 5, D Luiz 4 (2 pens), Ba 3, Bertrand 2, Sturridge 2, Cole 1, Romeu 1 (pen), Terry 1, own goals 3. Total 90.

Chelsea's next three games
Sun 27 Jan Brentford (FA Cup 4th rd) away 12 noon
Wed 30 Jan Reading away 8pm
Sat 2 Feb Newcastle away 3pm

Swans in the League Cup
Semi-finalists: 2012/13
Fourth round: 1964/65, 1976/77, 2008/09, 2010/11


This season's Capital One Cup campaign
Aug 28 (2) Barnsley (h) W 3-1
Sep 25 (3) Crawley (a) W 3-2
Oct 31 (4) Liverpool (a) W 3-1
Dec 12 (QF) Middlesbrough (h) W 1-0
Jan 9 (SF1) Chelsea (a) W 2-0

League Cup scorers
Graham 3, Michu 2, Moore 2, Chico 1, De Guzman 1, Dyer 1, Monk 1, own goals 1. Total 12.

Until this season Swansea had never progressed beyond the fourth round of the League Cup.

Last 10 seasons in the League Cup
2002/03 - 1st round
2003/04 - 1st round
2004/05 - 1st round
2005/06 - 1st round
2006/07 - 1st round
2007/08 - 2nd round
2008/09 - 4th round
2009/10 - 2nd round
2010/11 - 4th round
2011/12 - 2nd round

Swansea's home record in the league and cup this term is six wins, seven draws and two defeats.

They have only lost three of their last 19 games and one in their last nine and have not been beaten by more than one goal since Stoke won 2-0 at the Britannia Stadium in September.

Everton are the only team this season to win at the Liberty Stadium by more than two goals.

Manager Michael Laudrup
Days in charge: 220
Played 30
Won 13
Drawn 10
Lost 7

Last six results
Jan 1 Aston Villa (h) D 2-2
Jan 6 Arsenal (FA Cup 3rd round h) D 2-2
Jan 9 Chelsea (Capital One Cup SF1 a) W 2-0
Jan 12 Everton (a) D 0-0
Jan 16 Arsenal (FA Cup 3 Rep a) L 0-1
Jan 19 Stoke (h) W 3-1


2012/13 scorers
Michu 16, Graham 7, De Guzman 6, Routledge 5, Dyer 4, Hernandez 2, Moore 2, Chico 1, Davies 1, Monk 1, Rangel 1, Sinclair 1, own goals 1. Total 48

Completed January transfers
Demba Ba (Newcastle, undisclosed)
Outs Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool, undisclosed), Lucas Piazon (Malaga, loan), Todd Kane (Blackburn, loan), Billy Clifford (Colchester, loan), Sam Walker (Colchester, loan)
Roland Lamah (Osasuna, loan)
Outs Jamie Proctor (Crawley, undisclosed)

Chris Foy is handling his first Chelsea match since the 0-0 draw with Manchester City in November. He officiated the FA Cup final win over Portsmouth in 2010 that confirmed the club's first league and FA Cup double, and our victory over Fulham on penalties in this competition in September 2011.

Victor Moses and John Mikel Obi are away at the Africa Cup of Nations.

There are no suspensions.

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