Capital One Cup: Chelsea v Swansea match preview
A look ahead to tonight’s Capital One Cup semi-final first leg fixture at Stamford Bridge
Rafa Benitez will be aiming to reach his first domestic final as Chelsea manager as his side go up against Swansea in the Capital One Cup semi-final.
Benitez, who has endured a rough start to his managerial career in West London, will be hoping that winning the first domestic silverware available this season will quieten his Chelsea critics.
Chelsea, who comfortably beat Championship side Leeds United in the previous round, will be without club captain John Terry (knee) who is still a few days away from returning. Petr Cech (groin), Oriol Romeu (knee) and Yossi Benayoun (knee) are all out injured. John Mikel Obi and Victor Moses have left for the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has had an impressive start to his managerial career in South West Wales and will be hoping to guide The Swans to their first major trophy in the club's 100-year history. Swansea, who knocked out Middlesbrough in the last round, know the current European champions will prove to be a sterner test. Laudrup can take heart from Swansea’s fourth round victory at Anfield in which they beat Liverpool 3-1 and hope his players can put in a similar performance at Stamford Bridge.
Gerhard Tremmel is likely to start once again in goal, and Angle Range is fit again following a calf problem. Neil Taylor (fractured ankle) is Swansea’s only absentee.
KICK-OFF: Wednesday, 7.45pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Swansea 1 (Hernandez) Chelsea 1 (Moses), Premier League, November 2012
Swansea 1 (Sinclair) Chelsea 1 (Taylor og), Premier League, January 2012
Chelsea 4 (Torres, Ramires x2, Drogba) Swansea 1 (Williams) Premier League September 2011
Chelsea have won the league cup four times, the last of which was in 2007, only Liverpool (eight) and Aston Villa (five) have won the competition more.
2008 was the last time Chelsea reached the League Cup semi-final beating Everton to reach the final, which they lost to Tottenham.
Chelsea and Swansea have only met once in the League Cup, Chelsea beating The Swan’s 3-2 at Stamford Bridge in 1964.
The Blues have scored 16 goals in this season’s competition, knocking out Wolves, Manchester United and Leeds.
This is the first time Swansea have reached the last four of the League Cup, previously they had never reached the quarter-finals.
Last season Swansea was knocked out of the League Cup by Shrewsbury Town in the second-round.
Swansea have never won a major competition in their 100-year history.
Swansea have scored 10 goals in their four ties so far this season beating Barnsley, Crawley, Liverpool and Middlesbrough on their way to the semi-final.
Chelsea to win: 1.47
Swansea to win: 8.4
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 7.45pm highlights Wednesday 9 on BBC1 at 11.05pm.
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