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Last Updated: Friday, 22 February 2008, 10:41 GMT
Experts on the final
Tottenham and Chelsea meet at Wembley on Sunday in the Carling Cup final, with experts and supporters alike unsure who will emerge victorious.

Spurs are hitting top form as the Juande Ramos revolution gathers pace at White Hart Lane, but Avram Grant is proving himself an able successor to Jose Mourinho and his Chelsea side will start as favourites as they look to retain the trophy.


BBC Sport spoke to two club favourites to get their views on the first final of the season.

Gary Mabbutt
Gary Mabbutt
Former Tottenham and England defender

Sunday's final is going to be a very difficult game for Tottenham, no doubt, but there's no reason why they can't go to Wembley and cause an upset.

For a start, Juande Ramos has come in and turned the club around a lot quicker than some expected.

It was clear when he arrived where the problems lay. When he was asked what he was going to work on, his response was simply: "Monday defence, Tuesday defence, Wednesday defence..."

Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov
Berbatov and Keane have caused every side they've faced this season problems

Gary Mabbutt

To some people's surprise I'm sure, Spurs are already a lot better at the back, aided in part by some great signings in Jonathan Woodgate and Alan Hutton.

If Ledley King can return alongside Woodgate, that will be a big boost.

Tottenham now have strength in depth across the board and that is going to be so vital because Chelsea have unbelievable quality across the park.

Avram Grant's side will start as favourites but I've always liked Tottenham as the underdog.

Chelsea, of course, can always score goals but their success has been built on their ability to shut up shop when needed and I'm sure they'll want to keep things tight again Sunday.

But Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane - as well as the likes of Jermaine Jenas, Aaron Lennon and Steed Malbranque - have caused problems for every side they've faced this season.

If they click on the day, Tottenham can score goals.

Ramos's experience will be key. He has a fantastic CV and he's brought with him a winning mentality that the players seem to be responding to.

Bringing in Gus Poyet - someone who knows the language, the club and football so well - was a superb move.

All in all, if Spurs can be sound defensively, then they have a chance because they definitely have the talent to cause Chelsea problems at the other end.

Gavin Peacock
Gavin Peacock
Former Chelsea midfielder

Sunday's final is absolutely huge for Chelsea and, in particular, manager Avram Grant.

Grant always had massive shoes to fill in replacing Jose Mourinho. I was really sorry to see Jose go and I'm convinced he should still be there - whatever the problems, Chelsea should've worked through them.

But, either way, Grant's there now and the only way he is going to win the kind of affection from the fans that Mourinho enjoyed is by winning things.

He has a good record so far - two defeats in 25 games - but, in truth, nothing whatsoever has been achieved.

At the end of the season, when you see what the team have won and where they have finished, it will be easier to judge whether he's been a success.

John Terry and Frank Lampard
I've heard the rumours that John Terry and Frank Lampard will not start the match and that's a big risk

Gavin Peacock

So it's a massive fixture for him and Chelsea - and it's not one where the team or tactics pick themselves. I've heard the rumours that John Terry and Frank Lampard will not start and that's a big risk.

For me, if they are fit - and in Terry's case even 90% fit because of his leadership - then they have to play and Grant will face a lot of criticism if he doesn't play them and it doesn't pay off.

Some might argue that their absence will give Spurs a fillip but the players will still draw a breath when they look down the Chelsea team-sheet and see the likes of Michael Essien, Didier Drogba, Joe Cole and so on.

Whether Grant plays Drogba and Nicolas Anelka up front together will be interesting - I would go for 4-4-2 - but either way I think it will be an open, attacking game simply because Chelsea have to win and Spurs only know how to play one way.

Chelsea will go into the match as favourites and I fancy them to do it.

But it won't be a walk in the park by any stretch. If Berbatov, Keane, Jenas and Lennon click for Tottenham they will cause problems and it's in the forward areas that I think this game will be decided.

I'm going for Chelsea to edge a five-goal thriller.

Gary Mabbutt and Gavin Peacock were talking to BBC Sport's Sam Lyon

Ramos v Grant
22 Feb 08 |  League Cup
Terry and Lampard may miss final
21 Feb 08 |  Chelsea
Grant demands Chelsea 'respect'
24 Jan 08 |  League Cup
Terry may miss England friendly
18 Dec 07 |  Internationals
Chelsea extend Grant's contract
13 Dec 07 |  Chelsea
Berbatov praises 'perfect' Ramos
13 Nov 07 |  Tottenham Hotspur
The task facing Ramos at Spurs
29 Oct 07 |  Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham make Ramos head coach
27 Oct 07 |  Tottenham Hotspur
Jol sacked as Tottenham manager
26 Oct 07 |  Tottenham Hotspur
Chelsea needed a change - Grant
26 Sep 07 |  Chelsea


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