FORMER Chelsea and Leeds striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink senses an upset as his two old clubs prepare to meet in the Capital One Cup.
Chelsea must travel to Yorkshire for the quarter-final tie almost immediately after returning home from Japan following their Club World Cup final disappointment.
With the Blues’ recent form also having been indifferent, and interim manager Rafael Benitez battling to win over the fans, Hasselbaink believes Championship side Leeds can follow neighbours and Arsenal conquerors Bradford into the last four.
Hasselbaink said: “For Leeds, obviously, to be able to play in a quarter-final of the Capital One Cup is absolutely magnificent.
“They will have a good chance of going through to the semi-finals.
“They have seen Bradford doing it so I think they will take great inspiration from that and will be looking forward to the game. The game can’t come quick enough for them.
“If I was Chelsea’s manager, I would want to have a few more days to prepare for this match.
“They will have to go through it and hope they turn up and do not feel too tired.
“The odds are getting better and better for Leeds.”
BRADFORD City will be looking to their younger players in tonight’s FA Cup tie with League One Brentford.
Following the decision to reinstate the club into the competition, boss Phil Parkinson said: “The two chairmen obviously wanted to appeal and we did that. To be thrown out of the FA Cup brings a certain stigma and with the decision being ludicrous in the first place, it was the right thing to do.
“But now the game is here, we have to look at the bigger picture. Beating Arsenal means an extra two games (in the Capital One Cup semi-finals), while our Johnstone’s Paint Trophy game (against Crewe) has already had to be put back a week (to January 15).
“That is why I am going to be honest with the supporters and tell them I plan to completely change the team against Brentford. We will bring some of the youth players in, while some of the senior players won’t even travel.
“There are a few seniors who need a game so they will be involved. But I have got to be fair to the rest ahead of a busy Christmas.”
Among those first-team squad members likely to be given a run-out at Griffin Park are Ricky Ravenhill, Alan Connell, Ritchie Jones and Zavon Hines.
Kyel Reid, who was in the squad that travelled to Southend United but did not feature in the 18, is also set to return after 11 weeks out but Curtis Good – the ineligible player who inadvertently led to City’s administrative problems in the Cup – is not available along with loanees Tom Naylor and Craig Forsyth, the latter two having been refused permission to play by parent clubs Derby County and Watford respectively.