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MATCHDAY: Chelsea-Tottenham meet in English League Cup semis

January 4, 2022 GMT
Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku, center, celebrates with his teammates after scoring his side's opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Brighton at Stamford Bridge Stadium in London, England, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
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Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku, center, celebrates with his teammates after scoring his side's opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Brighton at Stamford Bridge Stadium in London, England, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
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Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku, center, celebrates with his teammates after scoring his side's opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Brighton at Stamford Bridge Stadium in London, England, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Wednesday:

ENGLAND

The English League Cup semifinals begin with Chelsea set to bring Romelu Lukaku back into the team for the first leg against London rival Tottenham at Stamford Bridge. Lukaku was dropped from the squad for a big Premier League game against Liverpool on Sunday after giving a TV interview in which he expressed his unhappiness at Chelsea and indicated he had issues with manager Thomas Tuchel’s style of play. Tuchel said he has held clear-the-air talks with Lukaku and the player was returning to training on Tuesday. Timo Werner could also be back in Chelsea’s team after injury, while Tottenham is waiting on what manager Antonio Conte described as “a couple of situations” regarding potential COVID-19 cases in his squad. Chelsea most recently won the League Cup in 2015, while Tottenham’s last major trophy was the League Cup in 2008. Arsenal and Liverpool are also in the semifinals, with their first leg being played on Thursday.

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SPAIN

Barcelona continues the defense of its Copa del Rey title with an away match against third-tier Linares Deportivo in the last 32. Barca has COVID-19 issues, with Pedri González and new signing Ferran Torres the latest to test positive. There are seven other games, including Real Madrid’s trip to third-tier Alcoyano.

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