Eight days after Bradford City upset Arsenal, the Leeds United manager, Neil Warnock, hopes for another triumph of Yorkshire over London in the Capital One Cup tonight.
This evening sees the fourth and final quarter-final, as Leeds host Chelsea at Elland Road. It is one of the fiercest rivalries in English football. Warnock certainly hopes his Leeds side can this evening emulate Bradford's achievements. His players have been practising penalty kicks, in case it ends the same way as last week's tie did. Bradford won their ninth consecutive shoot-out.
"We will be practising penalties," Warnock said. "[Bradford] should be teaching England. Are they English, the players taking them?"
There should certainly be an intense atmosphere at Elland Road, given the deep roots of this fixture and the time of year. "Win or lose, it will be a great night," Warnock said. "We are taking on one of the top three clubs in the country and we want to show what a good team we are. I don't think there will be any moments when you fall asleep watching this game."
Rafael Benitez is looking forward to the challenge after Chelsea's Club World Cup defeat. "Every trophy is important, " he said. "We have a chance to go through to a semi-final. If we go through will look to win it."
Benitez insisted that he would not be distracted by previous issues with Warnock. In 2007 Benitez fielded a weakened Liverpool team in a defeat by Fulham, who stayed up at the expense of Warnock's Sheffield United.
The new Chelsea manager said he would focus on the immediate priorities of the match. "I'm a professional so I will do my job," he added. "I'm a professional and have to behave."
Regarding the specific grievance over Sheffield United's relegation, Benitez said that the league "is about 38 games, not one". Regarding the email he sent to Warnock advising him against further discussing the issue at the time, Benitez said: "I didn't remember this email. It's true but I didn't remember it. I will be concentrating on my job."Reuse content