By Andrew Robinson
Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez must be wetting himself at the prospect of facing Bradford in the Capital One Cup final if they can overcome a 2-0 deficit at the Liberty Stadium tonight.
Aston Villa couldn’t recover from their 3-1 loss in the first leg against the Bantams and went out 4-3 on aggregate despite winning 2-1 last night.
Chelsea looked toothless in the first leg against the Swans and two mistakes by Branislav Ivanovic saw Michu and Danny Graham race clear to net past Ross Turnbull.
Michael Laudrup’s men are formidable at home and held Chelsea to a 1-1 draw in the Premier League earlier this season. A repeat of that result – on offer at 7/1 with Paddy Power – would see them comfortably through to a quick return to Wembley following their play-off win in 2011.
The Swans are 1/3 favourites to qualify for the final but Chelsea will have taken some confidence from their recent 4-0 away win at Stoke and their dominance of Arsenal in the first half at the weekend.
If Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Oscar, Demba Ba and Fernando Torres actually turn up on a cold and wet night in Wales, then the boys from the King’s Road could go through.
With Rafa desperately trying to avoid his P45 in the summer, a cup win or two could do wonders, and he knows it.
The Capital One Cup is there, the FA Cup is still open and the Europa League is still open. I just have to give the team the confidence that we can win against anyone.
And with John Terry chomping at the bit for a recall to the side, it could be written in the stars for JT to captain his beloved side to Capital One glory for the first time since 2007.