PMB: Chelsea v Tottenham - matchday

The final part of the Pre-Match Briefing gets you ready for tonight's decisive second leg...


• Maurizio Sarri will expect a strong reaction to the disappointing performance on Saturday at Arsenal in another match where London pride is at stake. With Championship team Sheffield Wednesday’s FA Cup visit to the Bridge on Sunday, followed by a midweek trip to Bournemouth in the league, he will hope to use a strong 14 this evening, and one that will compete physically with Tottenham.

• Seven of the 10 fouls Tottenham committed two weeks back were directed at Eden Hazard – the most fouls he has suffered in a single game this season. All three of Tottenham’s yellow cards were for offences against a player Mauricio Pochettino afterwards described as ‘difficult to stop.’

• With Spurs leading 0-1 in the tie, Chelsea must score to progress to the final. Hazard, Olivier Giroud, and Willian (twice), have all netted semi-final goals for the west Londoners in recent seasons. The Belgian is the club’s leading goalscorer in this competition so far too, although Sarri has deployed him as a wide forward in each Carabao Cup match, except the first leg of the semi-final. New loan signing Gonzalo Higuain is not eligible to play tonight.

• Although Mauricio Pochettino said yesterday the absences of Dele Alli, Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane offered no excuses, he would prefer to include a trio with combined tallies this season of 39 goals and 19 assists. Alli has also played a key role in recent Chelsea games, roving behind the other two to harass Jorginho as well as finding pockets of attacking space for himself.

• Fernando Llorente, who made a rare start upfront in Spurs’ 3-4-2-1 formation last weekend, is less mobile than Kane but thrives on crosses. From the off at Craven Cottage balls were fired in from the flanks, especially by left centre-back Jan Vertonghen. An alternative leader of the line could be the pacier but less physically imposing Lucas Moura, who is happier with a partner alongside.


Maurizio Sarri's pre-match quotes
‘I think we need to react on the pitch, all the rest is nothing. We discussed with the players how to try to improve the approach, the motivation and determination so we are trying to change something in training, pre match and everything. We all have to react on the pitch.'

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino’s pre-match quotes
'The key is going to be that we can cope with the pressure to play at Stamford Bridge and the attitude and of course, to give a good collective performance.

'I think both sides will try to start well, try to dominate and try to win the game. I think that is the key. It’s more about the mentality and the attitude than the tactical strategy.'


Squad news


Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Alvaro Morata



Dele Alli
Harry Kane

Lucas Moura
Moussa Sissoko
Victor Wanyama

International duty
Son Heung-Min


Matchday weather outlook

Very cold, cloudy with a small chance of rain in south-west London tonight. 

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