Our event of the day is the second leg of the Carabao Cup Semi-final between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotpsur at Stamford Bridge. Even though Maurizio Sarri’s side dominated for much of the first leg, Spurs go into today’s decisive tie with a slender one goal lead, thanks to Harry Kane’s controversially awarded penalty last time they met. However, despite only needing a draw to progress to the final, the Tottenham squad has been blighted by injuries of late, and Mauricio Pochettino may have to dig a little deeper within his ranks to field a capable starting XI tonight. Meanwhile, after missing a whole host of chances in the first leg, Chelsea will seek to capitalise on Tottenham’s depleted squad and secure the win which will see them progress to their first League Cup final since 2015. Chelsea’s offensive incapacities have been clear for all to see in recent weeks, with the Blues having scored just five goals in their last six games. Last time out, an impressive Arsenal display saw Sarri lose his second London derby in as many weeks, leaving his side just three points ahead of Manchester United and Arsenal in fourth place. The Chelsea faithful will be buoyed by the imminent arrival of the prolific Argentine Gonzalo Higuaín, though, who has been brought in to shoulder some of the goal scoring responsibility. Even though he will be ineligible to face Tottenham today, the former Juventus striker will likely feature heavily for the Blues in the final months of the season and could be key to firing the club back into the Champions League.
Tottenham meanwhile seem to be sailing against the wind of late, with several key players set to be sidelined until March. After leading scorer Harry Kane sustained an ankle injury in their 1-0 loss to Manchester United, both Moussa Sissoko and Dele Alli followed the Englishman onto the injury list and will be unavailable for today’s Semi-final and likely the Final should Spurs progress tonight. Pochettino has further been hampered by the absent Son Heung-min who is currently on international duty with South Korea at the Asian Cup. As a result, the Argentine tactician will be short of attacking options this evening at Stamford Bridge tonight, and will rely on his resolute back line, which remains intact amid his side’s injury crisis. It should be a thrilling fight for a place in the Final.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the cricket in Australia where the hosts will face Sri Lanka on Day 1 of the 1st Test at The Gabba in Brisbane. Both sides have struggled of late, with Australia looking to bounce back from their disappointing defeats to India whilst Sri Lanka will be still licking their wounds from a resounding loss at the hands of New Zealand. Meanwhile, Day 2 of the 1st Test between the West Indies and England will take place today at Kensington Oval in Barbados, with the tourists looking to kick off the Ashes year in style. At the close of the first day, West Indies were on 264 runs for 8 wickets. Elsewhere in the NBA, the reigning champions are in action as the Golden State Warriors travel to the capital to face the Washington Wizards, with the hosts still well in contention for a playoff spot if they can put a good run together. Meanwhile back in Australia, the Perth Scorchers will look to pick up just their fourth win of the season in the Big Bash League as they welcome the Sydney Thunder to Perth Stadium. In the Asian Cup, four teams will be vying for two Semi-final spots today as Vietnam face Japan and China do battle with Iran. Finally, in the tennis, Rafael Nadal will be looking to book a place in his second Australian Open final in three years as he takes to the court with the heavy-hitting Greek, Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by Carabao Cup; Tottenham Hotpsur
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