Chelsea v Tottenham
Sunday 16:00, Sky Sports 1
Match Odds: Chelsea 1.664/6, Tottenham 5.59/2, The Draw 4.47/2
This is the most intriguing League Cup final in recent years. It's a clash between two big clubs with a great cup pedigree, and a match-up between two contrasting sides too.
Whereas Jose Mourinho's side are wily, experienced and excellent on the counter-attack, Tottenham are young, energetic and determined to press high up the pitch. It should be quite a game.
Spurs seemingly have a fully fit squad - although they played away in the Europa League on Thursday evening, a 2-0 defeat at Fiorentina, and stayed in Italy overnight before training and then travelling back to London on Friday afternoon. That's not ideal preparation for a final, especially considering Chelsea enjoyed a whole week off.
It's Chelsea with the most pressing selection concern, however. Nemanja Matic's suspension for his retaliation against Burnley last weekend rules him out of this game - a ready-made excuse for Jose Mourinho if Chelsea lose, you expect - while his obvious deputy, John Obi Mikel, is also a fitness doubt.
Mikel's availability could be absolutely crucial, because it significantly changes the balance of Chelsea's midfield if he misses out. Ramires would come into the side alongside Cesc Fabregas, but he's not a natural holding player and Mourinho's side might find it difficult to win the midfield battle without a solid, authoritative in that zone, especially against Spurs' energy.
Elsewhere, Mourinho has decisions to make in goal - where both Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech are top-quality - and at centre-back, where Gary Cahill got a roasting from Harry Kane on New Year's Day, so might be left out with Kurt Zouma playing. His pace, especially alongside John Terry, might be crucial. Expect Willian to start on the right, with Juan Cuadrado on the bench.
Mauricio Pochettino has a large squad, but his first XI is pretty easy to work out. The only real dilemma is the wide midfield slot - he could play Nacer Chadli with Christian Eriksen in the number ten role, though it seems more likely Eriksen will drift in from the left with Mousa Dembele playing just in front of Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason. With Chelsea's depleted midfield, there's a good chance Spurs could win the battle in this zone.
Spurs will probably have the majority of possession. They press high up the pitch and often win the ball quickly, and Chelsea might find it difficult to bypass this pressure regularly.
The problem, however, is that when they do transfer the ball into attack, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa are among the best counter-attacking players around. Hazard is a brilliant dribbler and has a ludicrous track record of getting his opponents booked - Kyle Walker can be backed at 3.02/1 to collect a card - while Diego Costa will prowl the channels menacingly.
Tottenham defended awfully in Florence on Thursday, with basic errors costing them both goals. It was also surprising to see the usually immobile Mario Gomez get in behind so often, and Costa is likely to have plenty of joy here. He's a good shout to open the scoring, at around 6.05/1.
Tottenham have become too dependent upon Eriksen and Kane, and their best chance of success here is probably through the latter.
It remains slightly difficult to tell precisely why Kane has been so successful this season, but he's continually caused opponents difficulties and Chelsea are perhaps his most famous victim so far. Mourinho's side will probably defend quite deep against him, however, which could open up a pocket of space for Eriksen to drive into.
This might not be a game packed with creative energy, however. Erik Lamela is working hard but not delivering in the final third, Dembele is always lively but frustrating with his final pass, Willian and Oscar are excellent tactically but haven't been racking up the assists recently, and Cesc Fabregas' form has dipped following his early season heroics.
I think this game will be decided by the attacking contributions of Kane and Eriksen, and Costa and Hazard. With space to break into, I fancy the Chelsea duo to win it, although will steer clear of backing them at such a short price, and focus on player-related bets.
Back Kyle Walker to be shown a card at 3.02/1
Back Diego Costa to score first at 6.05/1