Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes Tottenham Hotspur have the advantage over his side for the Capital One Cup final, in part because Nemanja Matic is, as it stands, suspended for the match, the
Matic was sent off in Chelsea’s Saturday draw with Burnley for his retaliation to an incident with Ashley Barnes, who, Matic felt, had made a dangerous, studs-up tackle. The Serbian midfielder responded by shoving Barnes to the ground and received a straight red card, with Mourinho later complaining about the officiating of Martin Atkinson and pointing to four separate incidents.
The club are appealing the red card but Matic is currently unavailable for the match and Mourinho has said that, plus the quality available to his Spurs counterpart Mauricio Pochettino, tips the balance away from the Premier League leaders.
“It will be an advantage,” Mourinho said in the Evening Standard of Matic’s likely absence. “In football, an advantage is an advantage. Tottenham have such a good squad, almost replicas for two places in every position.
“What’s the difference between Erik Lamela and Andros Townsend? Nacer Chadli and Christian Eriksen? Paulinho and Ryan Mason? [Jan] Vertonghen and [Federico] Fazio?” he asked, rhetorically, before adding his own twist. “Actually, Vertonghen likes to get cards to the opponent.”
Tottenham were victorious in their last game against Chelsea, taking a 5-3 win at White Hart Lane when the sides met on New Year’s Day. But Chelsea were winners in the first meeting between the sides, a December encounter ending 3-0 at Stamford Bridge.
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