Tonight’s Capital One Cup semi-final first leg between Chelsea and Swansea sees two managers with very different points to prove as Rafa Benitez and Michael Laudrup pit their wits against each other for a place in the final.
Laudrup can do nothing wrong at the Liberty Stadium at the moment, cementing the Swans’ reputation as one of the most entertaining sides in the Premier League and pulling off arguably the signing of the season, in languid, 13 goals-and-counting front man Michu. But what the Great Dane wants to do more than anything else, is end the club’s 100 year wait for a major trophy and the Capital One Cup is his best chance to do just that.
On the other hand, incumbent Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez will want to silence the Stamford Bridge boo-boys and prove to the fans, and Roman Abramovich, that he is the right man for the job. It’s going to be a big ask, but the former Liverpool manager has already showed signs of winning the club’s supporters over with a number of impressive displays and adding to the Russian Oligarch’s trophy cabinet will certainly do his bid for the hot seat full time no harm.
Chelsea will be missing injured number one Petr Cech and recently returned midfielder Yossi Benayoun as well as long term absentees John Terry and Oriol Romeu through injury. John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses are also unavailable as they have left West London to compete in the African Cup of Nations.
Neil Taylor is the only Swansea player missing through injury after he was ruled out for the season with a fractured ankle, while Gerhard Tremmel is set to start between the sticks and Angel Rangel could return from a calf problem.
Whatever the outcome between these two sides tonight, Football FanCast will be following every tackle, pass and goal as it happens in our LIVE Blog below.
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