Chelsea must forget about their Wembley woes and focus on the FA Cup | Football

Conor Gallagher can score against Leeds (Picture: CameraSport via Getty Images)

Mauricio Pochettino cut a forlorn figure on the Wembley sides lines as Chelsea were beaten in the Carabao Cup final by a fresh-faced Liverpool side containing a fistful of players who look barely old enough to shave.

The Blues manager will have watched countless replays of the match, picking out the positives from the first 90 minutes and endlessly pouring over the negatives from the abject efforts in extra-time before attempting to lift his players for the FA Cup fifth-round tie at home to Leeds United.

On paper, the Blues should be far too strong for a club relegated from the Premier League last season, even though Friday’s 3-1 victory at Elland Road over Championship leaders Leicester means the Yorkshire club could bounce straight back to the top flight as division winners.

Leeds boss Daniel Farke may not even field his strongest side, preferring to shuffle the pack ahead of Saturday’s derby at Huddersfield, but Chelsea have been so inconsistent that Poch may still not have a clue who are his most reliable players even if he thinks he knows his best team.

Mauricio Pochettino must rally his troops

Mauricio Pochettino must rally his troops(Picture: Getty Images)

Chelsea were superb when they warmed up for Wembley by drawing 1-1 with reigning champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium and they were denied by a VAR decision in Sunday’s showcase when they thought Raheem Sterling had given them the lead against one of his former clubs.

But there are still too many unforced errors pinning back progress, piling the pressure on Pochettino who has still to win a trophy with an English club despite also going close on a couple of occasions with Tottenham. 

The Argentinian will dust himself down and go all in as he seeks to remedy that by winning the FA Cup. With Chelsea currently sitting in no-man’s land with their league campaign effectively over, he has nothing to lose.

If Leeds field a strong side, back them to finish all square after 90 minutes at 7/2 with Sky Bet – if their starting XI in any way resembles a skeleton crew then take Chelsea at 4/9 with Coral, Betfair and Paddy Power and hope they have they’re wearing their shooting boots.

Conor Gallagher missed a couple of good chances at Wembley and can atone by scoring at any time at 7/2 with Coral, Ladbrokes and many others while Crysencio Summerville is 21/5 with Unibet and BetUK to find the net for the visitors.

• Stick Liverpool, Brighton and Manchester United in Wednesday’s FA Cup treble 

• Everton created football history by becoming the first team to gain four points in one day (probably) and are now five points clear of third-from-bottom Luton, although the Hatters have a game in hand.

The Toffees, who face West Ham, Manchester United and Liverpool before tricky trips to Bournemouth and Newcastle, are still not clear of danger with another points deduction possible and are 15/2 with Sky Bet to be relegated.


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