There has been a lot of negative press surrounding Chelsea following their controversial 1-1 draw against Burnley over the weekend and unsurprisingly, Blues boss Jose Mourinho has been dominating all the headlines.
Mourinho was certainly not happy by the fact that referee Martin Atkinson’s incompetent display cost his side the points but he has been particularly irked by rough justice handed out to his key midfielder Nemanja Matic following an incident involving him and Burnley striker Ashley Barnes.
Despite being at the end of a ‘criminal’ tackle from Barnes, Matic was the one who got punished for his reaction and the Serbian star will now be forced to miss out the League Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur this weekend while Barnes managed to escape unscathed.
Such events have certainly not helped Chelsea’s preparation ahead of such a big domestic final and it will be interesting to see if the Blues can approach the game at Wembley in the right state of mind.
That said, Mourinho is an expert of working the ‘us against the world’ siege mentality to his side’s favour and one can expect the Blues to be extremely determined to claim a victory in the League Cup.
A match against Tottenham, who humbled them 5-3 last time out, serves as extra motivation for Chelsea and if Mourinho’s men are able to keep their cool on the night – they should be able to claim their first silverware of what looks set to be a trophy laden season.
Here is the Strongest Possible Lineup for Chelsea on the day –
Thibaut Courtois has been the man for the big occasion for Chelsea and the young Belgian is most likely to take his place in goal for the League Cup final ahead of the much more experienced Petr Cech.
Courtois will certainly have revenge on his mind as the young man let in five goals the last time he faced off against Tottenham and he will certainly be determined to keep Spurs out this time around.
The duo of Branislav Ivanovic and John Terry have been ever presents in the Chelsea side in all competition this season and the two stalwarts are set to continue in the starting lineup once again.
However, it remains to be seen how Mourinho comprises the rest of his backline. Filipe Luis and Kurt Zouma have been important components for Chelsea in their fine League Cup run and it looks like Mourinho will keep faith in the two players.
That said, both Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta are vital players for Chelsea as well and one would not be surprised if the two regulars are selected to start for such a huge game.
Despite much protest from Chelsea, Nemanja Matic will not have his suspension lifted which means that the Serbian international will be forced to sit out the clash.
The absence of Matic is a huge blow for Chelsea and with John Obi Mikel also currently struggling with an injury; Mourinho is presented with a selection headache at the middle of the park.
Cesc Fabregas is a certain starter in midfield and it looks like the Spanish maestro will be partnered by Brazilian star Ramires. Oscar will once again be deployed in the playmaker’s position while the wings should be occupied by the duo of Eden Hazard and Willian.
Juan Cuadrado also provides Chelsea with a good option but it looks likely that the Colombian speedster will only start from the bench.
It was in the League Cup semi finals against Liverpool that the fiery Diego Costa earned a three match suspension but one should not expect the Spanish striker to play any less aggressively in the final against Tottenham.
Costa certainly relishes the big occasion and he will surely be pumped up to win his first ever trophy with Chelsea.
Loic Remy and Didier Drogba provide useful alternative if things are not going well for Chelsea and Mourinho most certainly does not have too much cause for concern in the attacking department.
Via – Lineup Builder