Capital One Cup Semi-Final
Some are describing it as possibly the most important game of the season so far. If we can go the Liberty Stadium and over-turn a 2-0 deficit it will be a huge performance. Chelsea`s record, on the road, in recent weeks has been exemplary with the side notching up big wins at Stoke, Leeds and Southampton, maybe, just maybe, if Swansea get a little nervous about being so close to a major Wembley final, then perhaps we could be celebrating a dramatic comeback.
Ahead of the tie, Gary Cahill has epitomized the spirit running through the side and the center back aims to be at the heart of a memorable comeback, remarking,
"Swansea will probably have enjoyed watching us having to work so hard against Arsenal on Sunday, but they will also have seen what we are capable of."
"It`s one of the biggest games of the season for us and, though it`s going to be tough to turn things around, it`s not beyond us."
It certainly isn`t, so come on Chelsea let`s show them!
Swansea Team News:
Michael Laudrup, fast establishing a decent reputation in his first season in English football, will be without three key players in Kemy Agustien, Neil Taylor and Chico. If the latter doesn`t pass a fitness test then Gary Monk is expected to deputise.
Ashley Williams, who missed the last fixture as his partner had gone into labour, is expected to return to the starting eleven.
Player to watch: Michu
The Spaniard, picked up in a Spanish bargain bucket, has established quite a reputation in his first season in the Premier League. The Spaniard also scored the opening goal in the semi-final first leg, a goal that has put us on the back foot.
Chelsea Team News:
Rafa Benitez takes his squad to South Wales without the duo of Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel, both of whom are on international duty with Nigeria at the African Cup of Nations.
Also missing through injury are Oriol Romeu and David Luiz. The former has a long-term knee injury whilst the latter has an ankle injury that isn`t likely to have eased before tomorrow night.
The biggest questions relating to Rafa`s starting eleven seem to be:-
- Will John Terry return to the starting eleven?
- Will Demba Ba or Fernando Torres lead the attack?
Player to watch: Juan Mata
If Chelsea are to rescue this tie, with a display of epic proportion, we`ll need the Spaniard to be at his best. If he can pull the strings like we know he can, then we just may be in with a chance.
Match Facts & Stats
This is only the second time our paths have crossed in the League Cup, on the previous occasion being way back in 1964 when we were beaten 3-2 at Stamford Bridge.
Our last two trips to the Liberty Stadium have both ended in 1-1 draws.
Our officials for this match are;- Referee - C. Foy Assistant - J. Collin Assistant - S. Bennett Fourth Official - M. Jones
There`s no doubt this is a hard task, Swansea are no mugs at home and Chelsea, trailing by two goals from the first leg, cannot afford to concede another one. If Chelsea can play like they played against Arsenal (in the first half), we may stand a chance, but I reckon the best we can hope for is to force this into extra time, then we`ll see who wants it most.
We`re off to Griffin Park this Saturday lunchtime for an FA Cup 4th round clash with our West London neighbours, Brentford, kick off is at 12:30 (UK time)