The Capital One Cup Final takes place on Sunday 1st March at Wembley Stadium and is the first chance of the season for a side to take home some silverware.
It is usually thought that the Capital One Cup, or League Cup, is relegated to fourth priority for most of the sides at the top of the English Premier League. However, a competition in which many managers choose to cast their eyes over youth players or utilise their large squads has seen something of a renaissance recently.
Thanks to the timing of the final, with a couple of months still to play of the season, this year’s finalists have much to gain other than just a trophy. Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur both have bigger priorities ahead this season. A Capital One Cup triumph would provide the perfect springboard to launch their bid for success.
Earlier in the season, Chelsea’s form was such that they were being touted as possible candidates to go through the league season unbeaten and to haul in an unprecedented quadruple of trophies: UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup.
Defeat to Bradford City in the FA Cup and an eventual loss in the Premier League to perennial bogey team Newcastle United saw off those pretensions but Chelsea still remain in pole position to win the English Premier League.
Jose Mourinho will be keen to ensure that there is no repeat of the incredible 5-3 defeat when the two sides met at White Hart Lane on New Year’s Day. He will hope to use that game as motivation for Chelsea to win the first trophy of his second stint in charge of the club—and then a Capital One Cup win to push his side on towards further glory.
Tottenham Hotspur, on the other hand, are desperate to get back into the Champions League qualifying places. Their 2010-11 campaign certainly whet the appetite for the competition. The heartbreak of missing out a season later—despite finishing in a qualifying place—appears to have scarred the club. Chelsea won the Champions League that year, consigning Spurs to the UEFA Europa League.
Season-by-season Tottenham just fall short of Champions League qualification and try to balance the demands of UEFA Europa League campaigns alongside their League ambitions. Despite this, they have reached the Capital One Cup and have the chance to lift their first trophy since 2008, which was also the League Cup.
2015 Capital One Cup final tickets are still available. This year’s final looks to be an exciting matchup between two sides who have taken the tournament seriously and boast some of the Premier League’s most exciting players. With the likes of Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, Oscar, Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela on show, the final will do more than just make up the numbers.