It has been widely reported that Jose Mourinho is set to return to Chelsea in the near future, but Matt Stanger ponders whether this is really a good thing for the Blues and the PL...
Roll up, roll up to have a good laugh at your Football365 scribes, as we look back on our pre-season predictions to see who was wrong, who was right and who was stupid...
The much-maligned two-legged League Cup semi-final format seems a little outmoded and more than a tad decadent in an era of tiresome debates about fixture congestion but it provides us with the most mouthwatering knock-out tie of the week just two days before we're all supposed to get googly-eyed over the romance of the FA Cup.
Nobody ever describes the League Cup as romantic. But sod romance, just revel in the visceral sexiness of Chelsea going to play Swansea nursing a 2-0 deficit at half-time. This is a Chelsea side that has won its last six domestic games on the road and scored 20 goals in the process. This is a Swansea side unbeaten at home since December 8. And it's already Swansea 2 Chelsea 0.
When measured against Premier League games in rotated disguise like Stoke v Man City and Man United v Fulham, there's simply no competition. When United fans are mobilising in an attempt to create an atmosphere at their cup clash (the Reclaim United campaign - do they have flags?), it tells you everything you need to know about the appetite for that particular game. Some may throb at the thought of Brentford v Chelsea or Oldham v Liverpool but a giant-killing is far, far less likely than a 90-minute pummelling punctuated by occasional outbursts of 'oh, so Paulo Ferreira is still alive, then'.
The FA Cup feels like an intruder. We resent its incursion into the intoxicating rhythm of the Premier League - and that's coming from a fan of a Championship side still in the competition. It feels like a weekend wasted and the mourning is only alleviated by the enticing prospect of that most wonderful of things - a full midweek Premier League fixture programme. We only have to look at the website user figures for FA Cup weekends to know that we're not alone in our apathy.
We reserve our enthusiasm for a competition that feels like a bonus in our football week. The Capital One Cup is not an interloper but a welcome visitor - welcome, that is, until the cup final, when we reserve the right to be rather more interested in the Premier League games earlier in the day (our rather selfish message to Capital One - schedule the final for a weekday night, please).
On Wednesday, with Chelsea enjoying the freedom of being anywhere but Stamford Bridge and Swansea with 'the most difficult lead in football' (thanks, managers everywhere) and the accompanying nerves of a rare cup semi-final, it's a visitor that won't even be asked to take off its shoes. You can keep your romance, we'll take the late-night booty call.