Rafa Benitez’s men won convincingly at Leeds United in the quarter-finals and this showed their intentions in this tournament.
It may well have been only a couple of days after the Club World Cup final in Japan, but Fernando Torres, Frank Lampard and Juan Mata were amongst those who started at Elland Road.
Perhaps the only hope for the other three semi-finalists was Chelsea taking this tournament lightly, but with Benitez determined to win over the club’s fans, he will be going all out for League Cup glory.
The Blues face Swansea City in the semi-finals and although this will not be easy, you would expect the European Champions to have enough over two legs. One off day is possible, two is unlikely.
Aston Villa have saved their best form for the Capital One Cup this season, with particularly impressive away victories at Manchester City and Norwich on their way to the semi-finals.
Now, they are presented with a fantastic chance to reach the final as they take on League Two Bradford City over two legs. The away tie is up first and although this will not be easy, they still have the chance to make up for any blips at Villa Park.
The fans have certainly enjoyed their run in this competition and with form improving in the Premier League too, things are looking much better than they were a couple of months ago for manager Paul Lambert.
Villa will be wary of their local rivals Birmingham winning the League Cup in 2011 and still being relegated to the Championship, but this will not distract from their focus of going all the way.
Swansea were the second favourites to go all the way in the Capital One cup – until the semi-final draw was made. Michael Laudrup’s men take on favourites Chelsea over two legs and it would definitely be a shock if they progressed.
They will throw everything they have at Chelsea though. Away in the first-leg, if they go into the home match still in the tie, they have a fantastic chance. Not many teams get anything at the Liberty Stadium and the score at Stamford Bridge definitely holds the key.
Their involvement in the semi-finals is another sign of Swansea’s remarkable journey over the last few years, but this doesn’t mean they are happy for it to end here. The Swans will love every second of these two semi-final matches, but they are in it to win it.
Bradford City – 33/1 (Coral)
The story of this season’s Capital One Cup, Bradford City have done remarkably well to reach the semi-finals. Now, with two games to come against Aston Villa, who knows what could happen?
There is no doubt that the quarter-final victory over Arsenal will live long in the memory, but they will want to top this by making a Wembley final. Valley Parade will definitely be rocking for the first-leg in the New Year and if they can take a victory to Villa Park, the unthinkable could happen again.
Phil Parkinson’s men are certainly in some good form at the moment. The extra-time defeat to Brentford in the FA Cup on Tuesday was only their second defeat in any competition since October.
If they can gather some momentum before the first-leg against Villa, they will be competitive at the very least.
Bradford City v Aston Villa takes place on the 8th January 2013, with Chelsea v Swansea on the 9th.