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Mauricio Pochettino calls on supporters to support Chelsea as the 12th man in their semifinal match.

Mauricio Pochettino calls on supporters to support Chelsea as the 12th man in their semifinal match.

The supporters of Chelsea are urged by manager Mauricio Pochettino to provide their team with “energy” in order to overcome an aggregate deficit of one goal when they play Middlesbrough in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semifinal.

The team is aiming to make it to its first major final since co-owner Todd Boehly finished taking over the team in May 2022 during Tuesday’s match at Stamford Bridge.

 

A brawl broke out between players and Chelsea supporters during the away team’s first leg at Riverside Stadium two weeks ago, and former Blues player Pat Nevin on Monday compared the atmosphere at home games this season to “a mausoleum.”

 

Form at home has improved dramatically in the last few weeks after bringing just three wins in the 11 months from January to November 2023.

Even so, there have been moments when the atmosphere has been noticeably muted, especially when Chelsea has failed to defeat teams they should have easily defeated.

 

Pochettino’s team, who has won three straight games in the Premier League—their longest winning streak in more than a year—will welcome Michael Carrick’s Boro with eight players missing, including summer acquisition Christopher Nkunku.

 

Support from west London will therefore be essential, according to the manager, if the team is to make it to its first final since May 2022.

 

He declared, “It’s a passport to the final, to visit Wembley.” “This game is crucial for the team, for us, and for everyone else. We need to defeat a formidable team that we were unable to defeat in the first leg if we hope to advance to the championship game.

 

“We’re sure we can play a fantastic game in front of our supporters. We must make the most of our opportunity to play at Stamford Bridge by channeling the passion of our supporters.

 

“We felt let down following the first leg. When you look at it closely, we should have gotten more, but sometimes in football, you have to be clinical, aggressive, and goal-oriented.

 

“We all felt let down, but we have ninety minutes to make things right. We are going to show the opposition respect. However, we have a great chance to advance to the final and prevail.

Cesare Casadei, 21, was called up early from his loan at Leicester, so Pochettino will not be able to use him against Boro.

 

The Italian will not be able to participate in Friday’s FA Cup fourth-round match against Aston Villa because he played for the Foxes in both of the domestic cup competitions this season.

 

The manager did, however, imply that Casadei and Diego Moreira—who was also brought back after his Benfica loan was terminated—might play significant roles this season.

 

“He stated that we must evaluate them. “They have promise. They’re going to be in our squad, I believe. Whether they will be in the squad each week is something we need to decide.

 

“It’s fortunate news, as we were experiencing excessive injuries, so it’s crucial to get players back from loans.

 

“Casadei performed incredibly well in the preseason. We paid a little price for letting him go. Tuesday is out of the question because he represented Leicester in the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup, but perhaps he can contribute and be a member of the team in the Premier League.”

 

 

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