Barnes
Chelsea star Nemanja Matic is expected to miss the final after being sent off against BurnleyReuters

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has praised the depth of Tottenham Hotspur's squad ahead of the League Cup final against Spurs on 1 March, claiming Mauricio Pochettino is lucky to have "almost replicas with two players for every position".

The Portuguese boss recently bemoaned the size of his squad during an interview with BT Sport, claiming the Premier League leaders do not have as many alternatives as some of their rivals.

"We have a very short squad, we don't have a squad like other teams in the Premier League with options. options, options. We rely a lot on this group of players which we have," Mourinho said.

The Chelsea manager faces a headache to select his midfield for the game against Tottenham after Nemanja Matic was sent off during the 1-1 draw against Burnley for angrily reacting to a challenge from Ashley Barnes. Even if the club's appeal is successful, Matic's ban will reportedly be reduced from three games to one.

With Matic's back-up option, John Obi Mikel, also sidelined with a knee problem, the manager may have to select two more attack-minded players, such as Ramires and Cesc Fabregas, in the middle of the park against a side that beat them 5-3 during their last Premier League encounter on New Year's Eve.

Even though Spurs have to face Fiorentina on 26 February – three days before the final – for their Europa League second leg tie, Mourinho has not hesitated to concede that Spurs are favourites to win the trophy as unlike him, Pochettino has almost 24 players to select.

The Chelsea boss claims there are no differences for Spurs in deploying either their £26m ($40.1m) record signing Erik Lamela or Andros Townsend, or choosing between in-form star Christian Eriksen or Nacer Chadli.

"It will be an advantage [for them that Matic is suspended]. In football, an advantage is an advantage," Mourinho said, according to Standard Sport.

"They [Tottenham] have such a good squad, almost replicas with two players for every position. What's the difference between Erik Lamela and Andros Townsend? Nacer Chadli and Christian Eriksen? Paulinho and Ryan Mason? Vertonghen and Fazio — actually Vertonghen likes to get cards to the opponents."

Nevertheless, Mourinho has claimed Chelsea will make every effort to secure clinch the silverware.

"If things go in one direction where people think Chelsea's approach is not to win, you are wrong. For example, look at the game in Paris [against PSG in the Champions League] and in the second half, you get the idea that Chelsea didn't want to win. But we couldn't," he said.

"They were stronger than us, they were better than us and put us in trouble. We couldn't do what we what we wanted to do."