After a disappointing result in the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup tournament, Chelsea face their first match in England since beating Sunderland 3-1 at The Stadium of Light. This match is the quarter-final of the Capitol One Cup (formerly known as Carling Cup). Chelsea and Leeds United are no strangers, a fierce rivalry that dates back several decades and contains a lot of bad blood between the teams. Leeds United’s manager, Neil Warnock, is no fan of Chelsea. He often criticises the Blues and how the club is run and was QPR’s manager in the crazy 1-0 win for QPR in last year’s PL match at Loftus Road between Chelsea and QPR. That game left Chelsea with 9 men, a few penalty appeals, a loss, a frustrated manager and a racist accusation on John Terry. Certainly, a day no Chelsea fan wants to remember for its consequences on us and Sir John Terry.
Leeds go into this match hoping to shock us like Corinthians did and take another trophy away from us. Their home stadium, Elland Road will be full of hate for Chelsea and excited to see their club try and beat the Blues. Warnock has said he will rest his players against Chelsea, which has come as a surprise to both supporters. They are looking to beat a strong Chelsea side with a reserve side (basically what Wolves did at the Bridge). It’s a typical Warnock move and it will have it’s repercussions on 1 side, after the 90 minutes (or more) are complete.
Going into this match, it’s expected that Frank Lampard will captain the side (or Petr Cech) as John Terry has began to train, but is not fit to play (as of now). Here’s what Lampard had to say on the recent events and Leeds United : “You can`t go and win every tournament every year. We`ve never done that. No-one does it. We worked very hard to get to the final.”
“We`ve changed the personnel a bit this year, there has been a bedding-in process, and we`ve changed the manager, so there`s been quite a few circumstances this year.”
“We have to pick it up for Leeds. We have to go there and stand up, then get our home form back.”
“It`s very important that we do our stuff, not just at Leeds, but in the league games over Christmas.”
“Win at Leeds and we`re in the semi-final with the possibility of a decent draw, but it`s tough to go to Elland Road. There`s a rivalry.”
“We`re aware of it and we have to play with passion and do the physical side of things because they`re going to be right at it.”
“We can`t expect to go up there, tap it around and get a result. We have to do both sides of the game.”
Projected Lineups :
Chelsea : Ross Turnbull; Cesar Azpilicueta, Ryan Bertand, Paulo Ferreira, Branislav Ivanovic; David Luiz, Frank Lampard, Oscar, Lucas Piazon, Marko Marin, Daniel Sturridge
Leeds United : Jamie Ashdown; Sam Byram, Jason Pearce, Tom Lees, Adam Drury; Danny Pugh, Rodolph Austin, Michael Brown, Paul Green; Luke Varney, El-Hadji Diouf
Key Stats :
1. Leeds in good form, having won 4 out of the last 5 Championship games
2. The trip to Leeds comes barely 24 hours after the Blues arrive back in England following their Club World Cup final defeat to Corinthians.
3. At Elland Road, Chelsea have played Leeds United 48 times and have lost 58.33% (28), won 29.17% (14) and drawn 12.50% (6) of those matches.
We’ve seen shock in the League Cup already and a tired, under pressure Chelsea side could be exposed to an in-form Leeds United side at a fiesty and up-beat Elland Road. With Chelsea’s poor record at Elland Road against Leeds and the recent events at our club, I believe the match will finish 2-1 to Chelsea, due to the more experience available and the quality available. It will be a tough and fun match to watch, no doubt.
What do you think? Will Chelsea beat Leeds or will Leeds shock Chelsea?