We have to win this!
Since the loss to Arsenal at the weekend much has been said by the likes of the media and Chelsea in regards to what Chelsea can achieve this season. From Sarri questioning the mentality of the players to the media deciding that he is going to get sacked to Higuain finally signing for Chelsea but not being able to play in the semi final, lots of things have happened. With all this in mind Chelsea now go into their Carabao Cup semi-final 2nd leg against rivals Tottenham who have a 1 goal lead thanks to a Harry Kane penalty. Chelsea were awful in the first half of the 1st leg but the 2nd half was dominated by the blues although we lacked a killer instinct upfront and so could not capitalise on the chances we created. Tottenham have since lost to United and beat Fulham and have also lost Kane, and Alli to injuries and Son to the Asian Games. Tottenham are by far no weak team and I am not saying this should be a cake walk but if there was a time to bounce back from a poor result it would be now against or local rivals in a semi-final and a chance to play City in the final.
The lineup’s of either team will tell a lot and if Chelsea start with the likes of Alonso, and Willian on the pitch and Hazard as false 9, I can tell you the fan base won’t be happy and that would be the equivalent of having Kane, Alli, and Son on the pitch. Sarri was asked pre-match whether his comments had put him at odds with his players and he replied by saying that to improve as a team they had to acknowledge their faults and weaknesses. Sarri also took responsibility himself and stated that the mentality should also come from the manager. When asked about Hazard’s comments Sarri stated that, Hazard needed to improve because his potential is so high compared to his current level and he is letting himself down by not reaching it. I would have to agree there is only so much a manager can do to improve a player’s mentality and if Hazard himself is laid back about its out of Sarri’s hands. Sarri stated that at the current moment there are potential leaders in Azpi, and Luiz but Hazard is not a leader but more of an individual. Sarri stated that because Hazard likes to roam around on the pitch he is forced to organise the rest of the 10 players. Hazard might be in his final few months as a Chelsea player and if so then he should give it his best and make it memorable. Hazard needs to decide whether he wants to stay or leave and stick to it. This is a must win game Sarri and Poch are both after winning their first trophy as a manager although Poch has been at Spurs for a fair few seasons. It is a must win game for Chelsea and we have to reach the final there is no other option.
Chelsea Team Preview
Sarri has no injury concerns as RLC remains the only player out. Christensen not returning to the bench after leaving it was questioned by the press but Sarri stated that Christensen is always nervous on matchday’s and so he was just worried for his health. As far as the lineup is concerned Emerson, CHO, and Giroud have to start. Hazard cannot start as a false 9 and Alonso and Willian cannot be on the pitch. It is debatable whether Christensen, Rudiger, or Luiz will start but if someone were to get a rest I would prefer Rudiger because Luiz is a greater threat going forward. Higuain did not make the deadline and so a game against Sheffield Wednesday looks more of a possibility.
Tottenham Team Preview
Tottenham are heading into the game without Kane, Son, and Alli. Moura, and Sissoko might be back although to push them into a starting position would be a risk. Llorente should start alongside Lamela, and Erisken. Spurs have a lead and can afford to play on the counter in this game.
Starting XI Predicition
Under the lights, a semi-final at Stamford Bridge needing a comeback to reach the final, it’s a made for Chelsea condition. COME ON YOU BLUES!!!