League Cup final, Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea: Preview
Tottenham Hotspur`s hectic week of fixtures reaches a crescendo in the League Cup final at Wembley on Sunday against a Chelsea side that have been able to put their feet up before the first piece of domestic silverware of the season is decided.
London: Tottenham Hotspur`s hectic week of fixtures reaches a crescendo in the League Cup final at Wembley on Sunday against a Chelsea side that have been able to put their feet up before the first piece of domestic silverware of the season is decided.
After snatching a 2-2 draw against West Ham United last Sunday, Spurs travel to Italy to play Fiorentina in the last 32 of the Europa League on Thursday.
"It`s a very busy period and difficult for the players to recover. For that (reason) we decided to stay here after the game to train (in Italy) before taking the flight to London," Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino told reporters.
"It`s very important to sleep well after the game, to eat well, to recover, because Sunday is another final and we need to provide the players with all the best things to arrive fresh on Sunday."
Spurs go to Wembley hoping for a repeat of their 2008 League Cup victory over Chelsea when they came from behind to win 2-1, which was also the scoreline when they beat them there in the 1967 FA Cup final.
Tottenham also enjoyed a 5-3 victory at White Hart Lane in the Premier League on New Year`s Day, but Chelsea head to Wembley having beaten Spurs 5-1 in the FA Cup semi-final in 2012.
While Spurs have been busy gallivanting around Europe, London rivals Chelsea have enjoyed a week on the training ground after last Saturday`s frustrating 1-1 draw against Burnley.
Chelsea will be without suspended Nemanja Matic and the Premier League leaders could miss their tough-tackling midfielder as they try to keep hot-shot striker Harry Kane, who has 24 goals for Spurs this season, at bay.
However, Chelsea striker Didier Drogba boasts his own impressive record having scored eight goals in eight Wembley cup ties.
Defender Branislav Ivanovic believes League Cup success could inspire Chelsea to more trophies this season and hopes manager Jose Mourinho can claim his first trophy since returning to Stamford Bridge in June 2013.
"Winning this final could give us a massive psychological advantage before the last few months of the season," Ivanovic told the club`s website.
"This manager has not won a trophy yet (during his current spell here) so it`s a massive for us. A final is a completely different game from any other, so we have to expect everything and be ready for everything."