Capital One Cup Quarter final: Leeds v Chelsea
Wednesday December 19
Sky Sports 1 and talkSPORT 7.45pm
Assuming all goes well in the World Club Cup, Chelsea won’t actually be back from Japan until the early hours of Monday morning.
So it’ll be tired legs and minds making the trip to Leeds for the League Cup quarter final on Wednesday evening.
Leeds and Chelsea fans and players haven’t got along in the past. And, in 2003, Leeds named Chelsea as their second biggest rivals. Of course, back then they were genuinely competing for the same trophies before the Yorkshire club’s crash through the divisions. Rafa Benitez is no stranger to inexplicable animosities himself, but – despite the protestations of Chelsea’s fans – he has his side scoring goals and looking sturdier at the back than they did under Roberto di Matteo.
The welcome returns of Frank Lampard and John Terry will bolster things further – they are also the only two survivors from Chelsea’s last trip to Elland Road in 2003. While no longer blessed with the attacking talents of Alan Smith and Mark Viduka, as they were that day, Neil Warnock’s side do still pose a threat going forward.
The sharp attacking play and movement of Luciano Becchio and spitting machine El Hadji Diouf could unsettle Chelsea if they show any signs of complacency, and the local crowd would love a high-profile scalp. Rafa’s will do.