When the draw for Round 5 of the Capital One Cup was made there was a slight surprise that all of the Premier League’s big teams avoided each other.
But with that, the potential of a blockbuster semi-final stage is nicely poised and, should the favourites of each tie triumph, we could be in for a Manchester and London Capital One Cup Derby fest.
And for Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, there is an equal hunger for success in this year’s Capital One Cup, particularly with them all wanting silverware to give them momentum going into the business end of their respective Premier League campaigns.
New City boss Manuel Pellegrini has seen his side dominate teams that have visited the Etihad so far this season with emphatic victories over rivals United and Tottenham, but he hasn’t enjoyed the same fortunes away from home. But a trip to Championship side Leicester City gives him the chance to put that right and get City’s season back on track.
Jose Mourinho’s second coming at Chelsea hasn’t been plain sailing, either. Despite sitting nicely third in the league, performances haven’t been what they perhaps should be and he will be desperate to see his side pick up a much needed run of games in order to put things right. He won this competition twice during his first spell at Stamford Bridge and will see a trip away to a struggling Sunderland as the perfect chance to edge even closer to a third League Cup.
David Moyes’ start to life at Manchester United took some time to get going, but he’s slowly beginning to see his players react to his style of play. Nevertheless, a trip to a new-look Stoke City will be no easy ride, which Moyes will be all too aware of. United were forced to come from behind twice to beat Mark Hughes’ side 3-2 at Old Trafford in October and he’ll be demanding his players see this tie out from the off.
Tottenham boss Andre Villa-Boas currently finds himself under some pressure but will hope the Capital One Cup can offer his side some much-needed respite. Spurs face London rivals West Ham at White Hart Lane and will be out for revenge after the Hammers beat them 3-0 there at the beginning of October.
The most important thing for all of the big team’s managers, though, is that they win silverware this season. Moyes, Mourinho and Pellegrini will be expected to win something in order to justify the strength they have in their squads and to continue what the previous managers had done – win trophies.
Villas-Boas, on the other hand, may need to win silverware in order to justify his position, although after spending £100million in the summer, there’s no reason why he should have much of problem doing so.
The Capital One Cup semi-finals have the potential to be fought out between some of the top sides in England but, as we all witnessed last season, nothing is a formality in this competition and all four could find themselves out of the competition come the end of Round 5.
Sponsored by Capital One. The Credit Card that Supports the Supporters.
For exclusive content, competitions and more visit: Facebook.com/CapitalOneUK
For Capital One Credit Cards visit: www.capitalone.co.uk