Paul Merson explains why Chelsea vs Tottenham cup draw is 'brilliant' news for Antonio Conte
Paul Merson has said that Tottenham drawing Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-final is “brilliant” news for Spurs manager Antonio Conte.
Chelsea were drawn against London rivals Spurs in the cup semi-final this week after beating Brentford 2-0 on Wednesday.
It means a reunion with Spurs boss Conte, who was very popular during two successful years as a manager at Stamford Bridge.
The semi-final is currently scheduled to take place over two legs in January.
Merson reckons that the draw favours Conte’s Spurs due to the fact they’ll be going all out to win the domestic cup competition. In contrast, he explains Chelsea are still competing on several fronts for silverware this season and their priorities will lie elsewhere.
“The Chelsea semi-final is brilliant for him against his old club. If Chelsea put their best team out, then over two legs, they win,” Merson wrote.
“But Thomas Tuchel gave three Academy kids their debuts in the quarter-final against Brentford, and he won’t be taking the semi as seriously as Conte.
“Chelsea have bigger things to go for, and they can’t afford to slip any further behind in the title race or it’s goodnight already.”
Chelsea will have eyes on the prize
Yes, Tuchel will have to rotate his squad more than others due to the fact his team are in so many competitions.
It would be foolish to say the Blues won’t be going all out to win against Spurs, though.
There is no doubt that Chelsea’s squad is much stronger than rivals Spurs, so two or three changes to freshen up the XI after a hectic winter schedule shouldn’t see much of a drop off in levels.
Blues supporters got to witness Tuchel’s ability in cup competitions last season when he helped guide them to the Champions League.
Regardless, ut’s going to be very strange watching Conte in the opposition dugout
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