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Carabao Cup

Carabao Cup Semi-Final: Preview

Who will book their place in the Carabao Cup Final in the coming weeks?

20 January 2022

The Carabao Cup Final is in touching distance for our four Semi-Finalists now, as the quartet prepare to battle it out for a place under the arch across two-legged ties.

Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Liverpool remain in the competition, with two places at the Wembley Stadium Final up for grabs in February. And if the Quarter-Final is anything to go by, this year’s Semi-Final could be the best yet! 

📅 The ties

Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur go head-to-head for a place in the Carabao Cup Final on 5 January when the Blues welcome cross-city rivals Spurs to Stamford Bridge for the first leg of the Semi-Final. The second leg will take place on 12 January when Chelsea make the short trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Elsewhere, Liverpool will host Arsenal in the first leg of the Semi-Final at Anfield on 13 January before making the journey to North London to take on Arsenal at the Emirates on 20 January to determine who will book their place in the Final at Wembley Stadium.

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur

5 January 2022

7:45pm

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea

12 January 2022

7:45pm

Liverpool v Arsenal

13 January 2022

7:45pm

Arsenal v Liverpool

20 January 2022

7:45pm

🛣️ Route to the Semi-Final

Despite reaching the Quarter-Final of the competition in October, Semi-Finalists Chelsea were yet to manage a win in normal time, beating Aston Villa and Southampton in penalty shoot-outs along the way in Round Three and Round Four respectively. On both occasions, the Blues spurned 1-0 leads against Villa and Saints and, unable to be separated in 90 minutes, eventually progressed on spot-kicks. However, Thomas Tuchel’s men emerged victorious in a West London showdown in December, seeing off Brentford 2-0 courtesy of an own goal and a Jorginho penalty.

Spurs, on the other hand, were held to a draw by Wolverhampton Wanderers in Round Three of the competition and, after also securing passage via a shoot-out, edged Burnley 1-0 in Round Four. Arguably their biggest test yet came in the Quarter-Final when Tottenham locked horns with West Ham United – a Hammers side still high on victory over reigning champions Manchester City – but it was the North Londoners who came out on top and tomorrow’s tie will see Antonio Conte, the man who guided Chelsea to the Semi-Final in 2017/18, return to Stamford Bridge.

Having entered the competition in Round Two, Arsenal set out their stall early on in the competition. The Gunners have found themselves on the right end of some favourable score-lines, vanquishing West Bromwich Albion 6-0 before going on to record triumphs over AFC Wimbledon and Leeds United, capping off their route to the Semi-Final with a resolute 5-1 display over Sunderland in the Quarter-Final.

Similarly, the Gunners’ Semi-Final opponents Liverpool have enjoyed big wins over Norwich City, breezing past the Canaries in Round Three, and overcoming Preston North End in Round Four. However, the Reds stole the show in the Quarter-Final, playing out a six-goal thriller with Leicester City. Trailing 3-1 at half-time, Jurgen Klopp’s side netted a dramatic 95th-minute equaliser to take the tie to penalties, when Liverpool edged the Foxes – who looked almost certain to make it through to the Semi-Final.

⭐ Ones to watch 

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has had a hand – quite literally – in helping his side reach the Semi-Final, and the Spaniard, who was named in the Team of the Tournament so far, has already proven he can be relied upon between the sticks in the Carabao Cup. Speaking exclusively to the EFL in November, the shot-stopper said:

“It’s one trophy that I don’t have, so I want it. It’s as simple as that. This club has a big trophy mentality and wants to win every single trophy and play in as many finals as we can."

It’s no surprise to hear Spurs youngster Oliver Skipp’s name ringing down from stands across the country and the 21-year-old put in an impressive performance in Tottenham’s 2-1 win over West Ham in the Quarter-Final. The midfielder, who incidentally made his first-team debut for Spurs against the Hammers in the competition in 2018, is undoubtedly enjoying his moment to shine for Conte’s side.

The Carabao Cup called and Arsenal attacker Eddie Nketiah answered in the Quarter-Final, bagging a hat-trick against the Black Cats to take his tally to five goals in three outings in the competition this season. His heroics – including a stunning effort to complete the treble – earned him the Player of the Round accolade. Will we see the striker’s trademark celebration reappear in the Semi-Final?

Records were broken in the Carabao Cup Quarter-Final and by Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino no less. The midfielder became the first Reds player to score in three successive League Cup games in over two decades since Vladimir Smicer during the 2000/01 campaign. And the Japanese international popped up with most important goal yet against the Foxes in the Quarter-Final.

⏪ The history

Two teams who have met twice before in the Final will lock horns again in the Semi-Finals this year. Chelsea and Tottenham faced off in 2008 when Spurs claimed the silverware, beating the Blues as defending champions, marking the first League Cup Final to be staged at the new Wembley Stadium. And they went head-to-head in the competition Final six years later in 2015 when Chelsea ran out 2-0 League Cup winners.

For Liverpool, this year marks the 10-year anniversary of their 2011/12 League Cup title under Kenny Dalglish, beating Cardiff City in the Final in a tense penalty shoot-out, after the showdown finished 2-2. The Reds entered into the competition in Round Two, going on to overcome Exeter City, Brighton and Hove Albion, Stoke City, Chelsea, and Manchester City over a two-legged Semi-Final to reach the showpiece occasion.

📺 Where to watch?

All four ties will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.


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