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  • Swansea v Chelsea, Capital One Cup

Laudrup: Chelsea need a trophy more than Swansea

ESPN staff
January 23, 2013
Can Swansea book a trip to Wembley? © PA Photos
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Michael Laudrup says Chelsea need to win the Capital One Cup more than Swansea.

The Swans take a 2-0 lead into the semi-final second leg at Liberty Stadium, but the Dane claims the expectations on the Blues to reach the final are greater than those on his side.

With Rafa Benitez's side failing to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League and trailing leaders Manchester United by 11 points in the Premier League title race, domestic cup success is Chelsea's only real hope of silverware this season.

"With the money they've spent you ask me if they need a trophy more - it's quite obvious they do," Laudrup said. "To go into a game against Chelsea saying you are favourites, that's some way to go.

"One of their players - and I don't even talk about the most expensive one - cost the same as our whole squad.

"I imagine when they pay £30m, £40m or £50m for a player I think it's not just because he's a nice boy," he added. "They want trophies every year - like if you're Barcelona and Real Madrid, Manchester United and Manchester City, or Bayern Munich or Juventus.

"In Swansea they don't ask for that, but if we can get it, it would be great. I've been asked a lot in the last couple of weeks about how important this game is and I answered every time that I don't think I'm the right person to ask that question because I've only been here for seven months.

"I think it would be much better to ask that question to people who have been here five, 10, 15 or 20 years or even more because they have something to compare with."

Form

Swansea are unbeaten in the Premier League in 2013 with a win and two draws, but were dumped out of the FA Cup last week in their third-round replay at Arsenal. Chelsea have been wildly inconsistent - enjoying victory over rivals Arsenal and a thumping 4-0 win at Stoke but losing to relegation-threatened QPR earlier in January.

Head-to-head battles

  • Jonathan De Guzman v Ashley Cole

    Fight for supremacy down the wing

  • Gerhard Tremmel v Fernando Torres

    A clean sheet for the keeper would see the Swans to Wembley

  • Leon Britton v Frank Lampard

    Midfield battle

Team news

John Terry could make his first start since November after playing 11 minutes against Stoke 10 days ago. John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses are unavailable after joining up with Nigeria for the African Nations Cup.

Gerhard Tremmel is set to return between the sticks for Swansea as Laudrup's chosen goalkeeper in the competition, while defender Chico Flores is fit after missing the victory over Stoke with a knee injury.

One to watch

Who else but Miguel Perez Cuesta, better known as Michu? Chelsea paid 25 times the price for another Spanish striker in Fernando Torres, but Michu has been more prolific than his more illustrious compatriot, scoring 13 goals in 22 appearances for the Swans.

He scored the opening goal at Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago, and his brace against Arsenal last month proves he can be a real danger.

Key battle

With a double on his debut, Demba Ba ensured he would not endure a Torres-esque goal-drought on his arrival at Stamford Bridge. With three goals in as many starts, the Senegal international is dangerous in front of goal and with Chelsea going for broke at the Liberty Stadium, the Blues will need the former West Ham and Newcastle man to fire.

Swansea will be relieved that centre-back Chico Flores is back from a knee injury after missing Saturday's victory at Stoke and the Spaniard will have his work cut out to thwart Ba's speed and power in what is likely to be an attacking Blues line-up.

Prediction and bet

With Chelsea needing to beat Swansea by three clear goals to seal a clash against Bradford City in the final at Wembley, Benitez is expected to name an attacking line-up as the Blues go for broke.

This game has goals written all over it and promises to be a cracker. The match to produce three goals or more is 4/7 with bet365.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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