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Carabao Cup Semi-finals Preview: Spurs Out To End Trophy-Less Streak


Not for almost 14 years have Tottenham Hotspur, one of English football’s most famous and illustrious clubs, won a trophy.

That last piece of silverware came when they defeated London rivals Chelsea in the 2008 League Cup final at Wembley.

Didier Drogba put the Blues ahead but Dimitar Berbatov equalised from the penalty spot and Jonathan Woodgate headed home an extra-time winner.

Spurs have known little but misery and pain in cup competitions since then, but now they have a chance to take a step closer towards a Wembley return.

Antonio Conte’s side face Chelsea on Wednesday in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-finals at Stamford Bridge.

Although Tottenham and Arsenal is seen as London’s big rivalry, do not underestimate the enmity which exists between the Spurs and Chelsea.

Then there is the added intrigue of Conte – unbeaten since taking the Tottenham job – returning to the Bridge for the first time since he was sacked in 2018.

Antonio Conte insists he is NOT out for revenge as he returns to Chelsea for the first time since his 2018 sacking in the Carabao Cup semi-final with Tottenham this week.

Do not overlook that either.

“I spent two amazing seasons there. I created a lot of friendships at the club and we did a really important, good job,” said Conte.

“Also, I enjoyed working there and I have to thank Chelsea because they gave me the opportunity to work in England and to have my first experience in England.

“But now I am the manager of Tottenham and I want to give this club 100 and more percent.

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

Scheming Conte would love nothing more than to put one over his former employers and bet 365 are offering 11/4 on a Spurs victory.

You can also get a tempting 8/1 with Bet 365 on Son Heung-Min as first goalscorer.

Harry Kane is also 9/5 with Ladbrokes  as an anytime goalscorer as Spurs bid to reach Wembley and face Arsenal or Liverpool.

Games between the Gunners and the Reds invariably produce plenty of goals and Thursday’s semi-final first leg at the Emirates should be no different.

Both sides are coming off energy-sapping Premier League encounters at the weekend as Mikel Arteta’s side lost 2-1 at home to Manchester City while Liverpool drew 2-2 at Chelsea.

Both teams are likely to make changes but not too many with the lure of a Wembley final on the line.

Given the attacking artillery at the disposal of Arteta and Jurgen Klopp, odds of 4/7 with Paddy Power for both teams to score are tempting.

Similar prices are available with several other bookmakers, including Bet 365 and William Hill.

Arsenal, who are no longer a title-winning force, are still adept at winning domestic trophies and they are a tempting 4/1 with Paddy Power  to lift this season’s Carabao Cup.

Romelu Lukaku reportedly 'wants to reunite with his former Inter boss Antonio Conte at TOTTENHAM' https://t.co/XBhr6fgfZz

— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) January 3, 2022

Pressure is mounting on Everton boss Rafael Benitez as he fights to survive the axe at Goodison Park.

But with Wayne Rooney performing an increasingly impressive job at Derby County, could the legendary former England striker make a dramatic return to his beloved Blues?

Few can forget Rooney’s talismanic influence as a player, intimidating and inspiring in equal measure.

In October 2002, a 16-year-old Wayne Rooney announced himself to the world with a stunning goal against Premier League champions Arsenal – a strike that ended their 30-game unbeaten run and gave the Blues all three points.

That the boyhood Everton supporter has transmitted that same desire to his managerial career is undeniable.

Despite being docked 21 points for historical financial breaches under former owner Mel Morris, Rooney’s Rams have refused to throw in the towel and accept relegation as a foregone conclusion.

Derby have been in administration since September and for as long as they do not have an owner, their future is clouded by uncertainty.

It will be remarkable if they manage to avoid relegation but, incredibly, they are only 11 points adrift of safety.

Rooney’s work at Pride Park is earning him admirers and belief is growing among some Everton supporters that he could be the man to succeed Benitez at Goodison Park.

Rooney’s odds of becoming the next permanent Everton boss have shortened to 7/2 with Paddy Power with Dane Kasper Hjulmand the favourite at 3/1.

Frank Lampard might also be worth a punt at 6/1 with Betfair.

Wayne Rooney with Duncan Ferguson as part of his backroom staff has been touted as a possibility #EFC

— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) January 3, 2022