Chelsea vs Tottenham LIVE: Carabao Cup team news and line-ups with Romelu Lukaku set to return

Chelsea host Tottenham as Antonio Conte returns to Stamford Bridge in the first leg of the Carabao Cup.

The Blues welcome back Romelu Lukaku after the Belgian striker’s apology for an unauthorised interview, which saw Thomas Tuchel drop the £97.5m signing in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday. “To the fans, I’m sorry for the upset that I caused, I should have been much clearer in my message,” Lukaku told the Chelsea website. “The interview was about saying goodbye to the Inter [Milan] fans, and it wasn’t about trying to disrespect the [Chelsea] fans, my team-mates, the club and the manager.”

The second semi-final in the competition between Liverpool and Arsenal has been postponed after the Merseysiders’ request to the EFL after a Covid outbreak. Conte will hope to prove a point at the home of the European champions after his acrimonious exit almost four years ago, with the Italian adamant Harry Kane is now buying in after pushing for a move to Man City last summer.

The fixture will be available to watch on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football, with coverage beginning at 7pm. Subscribers can also stream the game via the Sky Go app. And if you’re not a Sky customer you can grab a NOWTV Day Pass here to watch without a subscription. Alternatively you can follow live build-up, team news, goal and score updates, analysis and reaction to the game below:

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Chelsea vs Tottenham

Chelsea last hosted Tottenham in the Carabao Cup semi-finals three years ago. The first leg was played at Spurs with a Harry Kane penalty giving the home side the advantage going into the match at Stamford Bridge.

Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Son Heung-min where all absent for various reasons and Chelsea quickly moved into a 2-0 lead through goals from N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard.

Fernando Llorente scored for Tottenham to make the tie 2-2 on aggregate and force the result to be decided by a penalty shootout. Eric Dier and Lucas Moura missed for Tottenham and Chelsea went through to the final.

Can Tottenham make it one step further this time around?

Chelsea vs Tottenham

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel still believes Romelu Lukaku is a good fit for the club and confirmed that Lukaku was Chelsea’s number one choice when they went into the transfer market last summer.

https://dossieroutpost.com/soccer/southamptons-new-owners-will-not-splash-the-cash-after-the-takeover/

“First choice is also about what is possible and what’s not possible and what is a good fit,”Tuchel said ahead of the visit of Tottenham. “It was the perfect fit, and it still is. Let’s say the spotlight got a bit bright now and we should not talk around it. We all have things to prove.

“He feels clearly in a position from day one that he has to deliver. I don’t think that you can assume that we spent this amount of money and bring all this effort after having major doubts or second thoughts, or having him on the list in, say, place number four.

“What happened, happened. It is not a small thing, but it is not the biggest thing out there. It does not make a comeback impossible – absolutely not. This is what we prove now but something happened, and he will be fined and of course he needs to accept it.”

Chelsea vs Tottenham

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte returns to Stamford Bridge and is preparing for an emotional’return to the club he spent two seasons with between 2016-2018.

Conte won the Premier League and FA Cup with Chelsea and returns to his old club for the first time since he left.

“I spent two amazing seasons, I created a lot of friendships at the club,” Conte said. “I thank Chelsea because they gave me the possibility to work in England.

“Now, I’m the manager of Tottenham and I want to give this club 100% and more to try to improve the team.

“It’ll be good and for sure I’ll have emotion to come back to Stamford Bridge.”

Chelsea vs Tottenham

Possible line-ups tonight are really just best guesses – there are thought to be some Covid cases in the Chelsea camp while either coach could take the opportunity to rotate their team after a hectic festive period. Here’s some potential teams:

Chelsea: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Sarr; Hudson-Odoi, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso; Ziyech, Pulisic; Havertz.

Tottenham: Lloris; Sanchez, Dier, Davies; Emerson Royal, Skipp, Hojbjerg, Reguilon; Son, Kane, Moura.

Chelsea vs Tottenham

Thomas Tuchel has hailed the strength of his “close relationship” with Chelsea’s board and confirmed Romelu Lukaku will be fined for his recent controversial interview.

Club-record signing Lukaku apologised for revealing his unhappiness at Chelsea in an interview released last Thursday but conducted three weeks prior. The £98m summer recruit was omitted from Sunday’s 2-2 Premier League draw with Liverpool, but is now back in training and in contention for tonight’s game.

Tuchel believes Lukaku did not intend to cause such widespread damage and is determined to “clean the mess up”, but also lifted the lid on his tight-knit working relationship with Chelsea’s board.

Chelsea managers always come off worse amid disharmony with the board, but Tuchel has forged robust links to directors Petr Cech and Marina Granovskaia. And now that hard work and cooperative spirit appears to have borne fruit, with Tuchel receiving vindication for his strong stance.

“There will be some discipline actions of course and he will accept it; what happened happened,” said Tuchel. “It’s not a small thing but it’s not the biggest thing. And it does not make a comeback impossible, absolutely not. This is what we’ve proved now.

“Something happened, he will be fined and of course he needs to accept it. It’s not about I push my opinions through or the club pushes their opinions through, we are adults and we reflect the situation. The more the story went on I had a clear opinion and I was happy that was OK with the club to go with it. And I had a feeling it was really OK, as I also spoke to the other players.

“We have a very open, close relationship and we can find very quick solutions, without any political interference, putting every disturbing factor aside and just looking at the issue isolated on the moment and from there we went. And it was very nice to be a part of it. Between Petr, Marina and me it was very calm, very quick and very open.”

Thomas Tuchel speaks to the media on Tuesday

Chelsea vs Tottenham

Chelsea host Tottenham as Antonio Conte returns to Stamford Bridge in the first leg of the Carabao Cup.

The Blues welcome back Romelu Lukaku after the Belgian striker’s apology for an unauthorised interview, which saw Thomas Tuchel drop the £97.5m signing in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday. “To the fans, I’m sorry for the upset that I caused, I should have been much clearer in my message,” Lukaku told the Chelsea website. “The interview was about saying goodbye to the Inter [Milan] fans, and it wasn’t about trying to disrespect the [Chelsea] fans, my team-mates, the club and the manager.”

Antonio Conte provides update on Harry Kane’s Tottenham future

Antonio Conte is impressed with the way Harry Kane has bought into the Italian’s project at Tottenham and says he will be the focal point of any success.

The striker looked set to leave Spurs in the summer after hankering for a move to Manchester City, hinting at his desire during a high-profile interview with Gary Neville and turning up to pre-season training late.

Chairman Daniel Levy stood firm and, after City did not come to the table with an offer that even needed contemplating, Kane, who is under contract until 2024, was forced to stay at the club.

The hangover of that saga went on for some time and it is only under Conte, who replaced Nuno Espirito Santo as head coach in November, that the England captain has come to life this season.

Antonio Conte provides update on Harry Kane’s Tottenham future

The 28-year-old had looked set to leave the north London club in the summer, but chairman Daniel Levy stood firm

Romelu Lukaku apologises to Chelsea fans: ‘I totally understand you guys being upset’

Romelu Lukaku has apologised to Chelsea fans after an giving an interview in which he complained about life at the club and expressed his wish to return to Inter Milan.

In an interview conducted three weeks ago but released last Thursday, Lukaku expressed unhappiness at a lack of game time at Chelsea, whom he rejoined from Inter last summer. Tuchel left the Belgium international out of the Chelsea squad for Sunday’s 2-2 Premier League draw with Liverpool, and it was later revealed that the German would speak to Lukaku about the matter on Monday.

“To the fans, I’m sorry for the upset that I caused,” Lukaku said in a video posted on Chelsea’s social media channels. “You guys know the connection that I have with this club since my teenage years, so I totally understand you guys being upset. Obviously it’s up to me now to restore your trust.”

Romelu Lukaku apologises to Chelsea fans: ‘I totally understand you guys being upset’

Lukaku has said he wants to ‘move forward’ after a controversial interview with Sky Italia in which he complained about his treatment by manager Thomas Tuchel

From Conte to Tuchel, Romelu Lukaku shows how role of Chelsea manager has evolved

When Romelu Lukaku’s interview with Sky Italia first broke, Thomas Tuchel immediately got in touch with the Chelsea hierarchy to explain his thinking. Their thinking, however, is perhaps the most instructive part of this. It quickly became clear that Petr Cech and Marina Granovskaia trusted Tuchel’s instinct, and were willing to back him on his approach.

Even more importantly, all of that was with Roman Abramovich’s support.

Part of the reason Tuchel was relatively relaxed about it all was because he put it down to simple impatience rather than anything more serious. Lukaku had finally found a system that was perfect for him at Inter, only for external factors – principally the Serie A club’s financial situation – to force him elsewhere. That naturally played into an initial frustration when his second period with Chelsea started slowly.

From Conte to Tuchel, Romelu Lukaku shows how role of Chelsea manager has evolved

Antonio Conte never earned the full trust of the Chelsea hierarchy but Thomas Tuchel has shown he has their backing with his handling of the Romelu Lukaku interview

Chelsea vs Tottenham: Team news

The big question for Thomas Tuchel relates to Romelu Lukaku, who was left out of the matchday squad for the draw against Liverpool and held talks with his manager on Monday after expressing his displeasure with his role at the club in an interview released last week.

The Belgian has apologised and will be back, but may start initially from the bench, while Edouard Mendy is definitely unavailable having departed for the African Cup of Nations. Trevoh Chalobah’s hamstring issue will be assessed having played 70 minutes of that Liverpool encounter, while Thiago Silva’s legs may be given more time to recover after he made his return.

Cristian Romero remains out for Spurs but should be back in action soon, while the unfortunate Ryan Sessegnon is well-acquainted with the Tottenham treatment table and a thigh issue seems set to rule him out.

Steven Bergwijn has been linked with a move away from the club in January and is also troubled by a recent injury, which could mean an opportunity for Bryan Gil, though with Morecambe reasonably lowly weekend FA Cup opposition, Antonio Conte may stick with something close to his strongest side.

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