Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino is confident home advantage will help turn the League Cup semi-final against Middlesbrough in their favour at the start of a pivotal week for the London club.
The five-times League Cup winners face Championship side Middlesbrough on Tuesday, trailing 1-0 from the first leg.
“It is a passport to the final, to visit Wembley. It’s really important for us, the club, for everyone,” Pochettino told reporters on Monday.
“We want to be in the final but first of all, we need to beat a very good team in Middlesbrough. We could not beat them in the first leg, but we are very confident that we can have a very good game in front of our fans and the energy from the fans.”
There is no chance French forward Christopher Nkunku will be fit to play due to a hip injury, the manager said, and Chelsea will also be without right back Malo Gusto.
Chelsea have recalled midfielder Cesare Casadei and forward Diego Moreira from loan spells at Leicester and Olympique Lyonnais.
“It will help us as we had been suffering from injuries,” Pochettino said.
Casadei cannot play in the League Cup or FA Cup games this week because he has appeared in both competitions with Leicester.
Chelsea are languishing ninth in the Premier League table, 12 points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa who they host in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday.
Pochettino’s side are unbeaten in their last eight games at Stamford Bridge across all competitions.
Their next league game is against leaders Liverpool on Jan. 31.