Chelsea pre-match latest: Including Swansea build-up and Benitez feud

Benitez Tour 2

A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea ahead of the Capital One Cup semi-final tonight.

After Bradford booked their place in the Capital One Cup final last night by beating Aston Villa, Chelsea travel to Swansea to try and overturn a 2-0 deficit to make the final themselves, and Michael Laudrup has said the Blues need to win the trophy more than Swansea do:

"With the money they've spent you ask me if they need a trophy more - it's quite obvious they do.”

Rafa Benitez also had some words for the Swansea manager, warning him that it’s tougher to do a good job when managing a top club:

"But when you're managing in the middle of the table it's easy to bring in young players, it's easy to play a certain style. It's when you're at the top or the bottom when it's harder to impose your ideas.”

Benitez also might have reignited his feud with Alex Ferguson, who was the subject of a famous rant by the Spaniard when he was in charge of Liverpool. Benitez believes that other people are now seeing what he suggested then, that Ferguson puts pressure on match officials and is not punished for his statements criticising referees and assistants:

“I could see what was happening from my point of view, and maybe now a lot of people are seeing the same things. I will not talk too much about that because it's obvious."

Branislav Ivanovic has described his performance in the first leg loss to Swansea as the worst of his career at Chelsea, and vowed to make amends in the second leg tonight. Ivanovic was arguably at fault for both Swansea goals at Stamford Bridge with two uncharacteristic errors.

Ashley Cole has spoken more about his decision to renew his contract with Chelsea, saying he hopes to win more trophies with the Blues and also help in the development of Ryan Bertand.

On HITC today, Lewis Doe asks if Chelsea are losing their appeal to players after they were reportedly turned down by Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis.

image: © http://www.flickr.com/photos/choonming/

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch