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Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea, League Cup semifinal first leg: Preview, team news, how to watch

Massive rivalry takes to the Carabao-fueled stage

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Chelsea meet Spurs in a cup semifinal or final for the fifth time in the last decade, with the Blues winning the last four after Spurs’ League Cup triumph back in 2008. Chelsea have recorded FA Cup semifinal wins of 5-1 (2012) and 4-2 (2017) and a League Cup final win of 2-0 (2015), but it’s Spurs who hold the overall edge in recent times, beating Chelsea three of the last four times in the Premier League, including the last two in a row by the identical score of 3-1.

And that will simply not do.

Another thing that will simply not do is any abusive, discrimantory, or downright racist behavior or chanting. Chelsea (fans especially) have an opportunity to stand up for what's right and show the world that we can behave in a manner to make everyone proud.

Date / Time: Tuesday, January 8, 2019, 20:00 GMT; 3pm EST; 1:30am IST (next day)

Venue: Wembley, London, England

Referee: Michael Oliver — third Chelsea match of the season for Mr. Oliver, including the 2-0 win over Manchester City, but who also just happened to officiate (the second leg of) Chelsea’s League Cup semifinal loss last season.

Forecast: Slightly breezy and cool

On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); none (USA); none? (India); elsewhere

Streaming online: Sky Go (UK); ESPN+ (USA)

Tottenham Hotspur team news: Just as Chelsea are suffering the effects of the festive fixture pile-up, so are Spurs, who face the prospect of a resurgent Manchester United coming up on the weekend while Chelsea “only” have to do deal with a trip up north to Newcastle — neither is easy, but Spurs probably have it tougher.

Lucas Moura joined Spurs’ length injury list over the weekend after getting kicked a lot by League Two opposition in the FA Cup. Also missing in action will be Eric Dier, Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele, Victor Wanyama, and Erik Lamela may only be fit for the substitutes’ bench, if at all.

But that list doesn’t include Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Son Heung-Min, and only Dele played the full 90 over the weekend, so other than a confirmed start for backup goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga, it’ll probably be as full strength of a side as possible from Pochettino.

View from the enemy: Cartilage Free Captain

Chelsea team news: Maurizio Sarri has promised changes in tactics, approach, and mentality to ensure that another 3-1 defeat does not happen tonight, but he’ll have to get a bit creative with the lineup by default thanks to our own length injury list. Willian and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have been confirmed out, while Olivier Giroud and Pedro probably won’t be fit to start either. Mateo Kovačić has missed a week with an unspecified illness, but hopefully will be back.

Chelsea briefly managed find a modicum of success in front of goal on Saturday, but that was against Championship opposition. Consistency in scoring goals and winning games has been in elusive for the past month and a half. The new year is as good a time as any to kick those bad habits.

Previously: Last time in a Chelsea-Spurs semifinal...

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