Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea
Spurs hosts Chelsea in the EFL Cup semi-final first leg on Tuesday night, and this is a game both clubs desperately want to win.
The two coaches, Mauricio Pochettino and Maurizio Sarri, know this is a great chance to challenge for the first available silverware this year. And that would be a big breakthrough for both Poch and Sarri, neither of whom has held a trophy aloft as a manager.
Of course, the big EFL Cup 2019 news is the astonishing charge to the semi-finals by League 1 outfit Burton Albion, which in turn means that the EFL Cup betting odds are weighed in favour of Manchester City, with the assumption that the Sky Blues can overcome Nigel Clough’s minnows. Spurs and Chelsea can dream that Burton might be able to turn over the Premier League champions over two legs, but then they’ll both be happy to take their chances in a cup final against Pep Guardiola’s superstars.
So there will be no quarter given when they meet at Wembley Stadium.
Harry Kane has had a hand in goals in his last eight games for Spurs
Spurs genuinely fighting on four fronts
Mauricio Pochettino isn’t sticking all his eggs in one basket in his search for silverware at Spurs. But he’d dearly love to open his account with the EFL Cup after his side beat North London rivals Arsenal in the quarter finals to set up this chance.
This cup is the first available in English football’s calendar but Poch has his eyes on three other tournaments. His team is still in EPL contention after Manchester City’s wobble and subsequent win over Liverpool. And Spurs has a mouth-watering Champions League tie against Borussia Dortmund to look forward to. And then they have safely navigated through to the fourth round of the FA Cup. They played a weakened side in the third round but Harry Kane and man-of-the-match Heung-Min Son both scored in their annihilation of Tranmere Rovers. That meant Kane has contributed a goal or assist in each of Spurs’ last eight games. Meanwhile the in-form Son is the club’s top scorer in the EFL Cup with three goals.
They have worked hard to get to this semi-final, beating three Premier League teams on the way, Watford on penalties and then West Ham and Arsenal. This could be Spurs best chance to land a trophy for the first time since 2008
Callum Hudson-Odoi has been in good form for the Blues, creating both goals in the FA Cup
Sarri yearns for silverware too
The Blues had a rather sterner test in the weekend’s FA Cup third round, overcoming a talented Nottingham Forest side 2-0, while the early window signing of Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund has delighted Blues fans.
But Sarri has his problems up front where all too much weight has been on the shoulders of Eden Hazard. N’Golo Kante was the unlikely goal hero in Chelsea’s recent league win over Crystal Palace, and goals have not been flowing at the Bridge in recent weeks with only six goals in the last six games.
The former Napoli boss has made a big impression on his arrival in the Premier League but the fact remains that that in his time in Naples, and as head coach of Empoli he didn’t win anything.
The Blues have had a tough ride on the way to the semi-finals, beating Liverpool, Bournemouth and Championship big guns Derby County. Sarri is likely to call on Callum Hudson-Odoi to provide a creative threat. The youngster has been the subject of transfer speculation but has done his talking on the pitch, creating both goals for Alvaro Morata in the win over Nottingham Forest.
He looks a real prospect for the future, but could be one for Sarri’s present.
When we look at Chelsea’s recent difficulty in scoring goals then a quick glance at Spurs’ form will tell us they have no such worries, bagging a massive 26 in the last six games, including five against Bournemouth and six against Everton over the festive period.
Chelsea has won 20 of the 57 matches between these two London giants since 1993, with 19 draws and just eight wins for Spurs. But Pochettino’s team is much better than its predecessors and has won the last two against Chelsea, both in the league and both by convincing 3-1 score lines.
Spurs looks more like the form team at present, but Chelsea hasn’t lost in four and is on a winning run of three away from home.
Let’s take a look at the us odds to find the value in this epic clash.
||Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea
||Draw 1×2 @ 3.30
|January 9, 04:00 (GMT+8)
With Spurs at 2.14 and Chelsea at odds of 3.20, the draw is statistically the least likely result, but I expect the Blues to fight tooth and nail to keep the tie in the balance at the Wembley Stadium.
The most likely result of all is 1-1 at odds of 5.80 and that could be a nice bonus if you agree.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:
| = €20 (Highly confident)
|| = €10 (CONFIDENT)
|| = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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