Chelsea entertain Barnsley of the championship this evening, (ko: 7.45 pm) an excellent opportunity to bounce back from Sunday’s defeat against Liverpool.
Frank Lampard confirmed at yesterday’s pre-match press conference that Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech will definitely be absent this evening. however new signings Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell are included within the squad. The Blues’ boss also confirmed that Callum Hudson-Odoi is ready to start. it’ll be interesting whether a strong side is selected. A confidence-boosting win is needed having not experienced a proper pre-season. I think it’s important that Chelsea put out a fairly strong side and don’t take the tie lightly.
Goalkeeper and defence
I don’t think Kepa’s performance on Sunday will have anything to do with the selection for tonight. Willy Caballero is likely to step in due to the fact it’s a carabao cup game.
It’ll be interesting whether Thiago Silva is given the opportunity to start this evening. I think it’s more than likely he will make a cameo appearance from the bench, maybe playing the second half. I expect the starting back four to consist of Cesar Azpilicueta at right-back, Marcos Alonso at left-back, and a centre-back pairing of Antonio Rudiger and the Fikayo Tomori.
I think there’ll be some subtle changes in midfield with other players allowed to shine. I expect N’Golo Kante to start alongside Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Matteo Kovacic. The latter missed the Brighton game through suspension, so another appearance will do him the world of good to gain full match fitness.
It has already been confirmed that Callum Hudson-Odoi will start on the left-wing. It will be interesting who takes up the other two positions within a three-pronged attack. I suspect either Olivier Giroud or Tammy Abraham will start upfront with the right-hand side position possibly taken by Kai Havertz. It’s crucial the young German gains some confidence, and this evening could be the perfect opportunity for him to do so.
I don’t want to expect too much other than a safe passage into the next round. However, with a strong team selected, I would hope that Chelsea do the job to get through to the fourth round comfortably. In which case, I predict a scoreline of Chelsea 3 Barnsley 0.