Paul Merson: Why Chelsea will beat Tottenham to the League Cup

The former Arsenal man is expecting Chelsea to beat their London rivals and win Sunday's final at Wembley

By Dipak Patel

Paul Merson has predicted that Chelsea will win Sunday’s League Cup final against Tottenham, despite the loss of influential midfielder Nemanja Matic.

Matic was sent off against Burnley after he reacted angrily to a challenge from Ashley Barnes and the resulting suspension means he will miss the game against Spurs at Wembley.

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Merson realises the importance of Matic as he gives the Blues a measure of control in midfield, but he still thinks they have what it takes to win the match.

“It will be a tight game. There is no Nemanja Matic, which makes a massive difference for Chelsea,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“I think Chelsea will just win 2-1, although it will be a hard, hard game for them – and a good game too.”

Glenn Hoddle also believes that not having Matic in the side is a severe blow but suggests their squad is strong enough to cope with the loss.

“With Moussa Dembele and Christian Eriksen floating around in that position, it will be difficult for Chelsea to cope without Matic.

“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,” Hoddle told Sky Sports.

“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.”

Should Chelsea win it will be their third League Cup success in the last eleven years and Jose Mourinho is completely focused on the task at hand.

He said: “I just think about the moment. Only this game. We have a final to win and nothing else matters.”

Spurs have a small psychological edge going into the game, having won their last encounter 5-3, but Chelsea have a superior head-to-head record in the league, with 64 wins to the Lilywhites’ 50.


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