Chelsea will be without suspended Nemanja Matic for the Wembley clash after the FA controversially banned the Serbia international for three games on a violent conduct charge.
Dembele has been pushed forward, something I’ve been wanting for years since I first saw him, because he started too deep but can fly past people very easily
Tottenham will have the chance to gain the upperhand in midfield without towering Matic, potentially freeing up playmaker Christian Eriksen to have a big impact on the final.
But former Chelsea and Tottenham manager Hoddle reckons Belgium midfielder Dembele could prove just as important in the Spurs midfield against the Premier League leaders.
“With Moussa Dembele and Christian Eriksen floating around in that position, it will be difficult for Chelsea to cope without Matic,” Hoddle told Sky Sports.
“He’s a massive, massive player. I’ve said before, if Matic or that type of player played for Arsenal, they’d have a far better chance of winning the title.
“Dembele needs to be mentioned here, it’s not all about Eriksen. Dembele has been pushed forward, something I’ve been wanting for years since I first saw him, because he started too deep but can fly past people very easily.
“Chelsea have a big and strong enough squad to adjust, whether he plays Cesc Fabregas deeper or brings Jon Obi Mikel in there, they’ve got options.”
Tottenham crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday night after a 2-0 loss to Fiorentina in Florence.
Spurs haven’t won the League Cup since the north London club beat Chelsea 2-1 after extra-time at Wembley in 2008.
The Blues are bidding to win the competition for the first time since Jose Mourinho guided the club to victory over Arsenal eight years ago.
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