Capital One Cup will be back in mid-week when Jose Mourinho’s side travel to Shropshire to line up against League Two side Shrewsbury Town in the fourth round of the League Cup.
Shrewsbury, who have knocked out Premier League and Championship opposition in Leicester City and Norwich City so far, have been in good form in the domestic league, sitting fourth with 27 points in 15 matches. Even more impressive is their record at home, where they have been unbeaten this season so far, but that record will be severely tested when Chelsea visit Shropshire on Tuesday.
On the other hand, the Blues have been in brilliant form so far and remain the only unbeaten team in the top four divisions of English football. With Capital One Cup lowest on Mourinho’s priority list, we will see a lot of shuffling around in the team tomorrow.
So, keeping that in mind, we decided to do an analysis on some key player battles that may influence the outcome of this encounter. Here’s what we learned:
JIM COLLINS vs GARY CAHILL
Jim Collins has been leading the way for the League Two side so far, already amassing 6 goals in his 15 starts across all competitions. The 6 feet 3 inch striker joined the Shrewsbury side in the summer for free and has been a revelation since then, scoring some important goals for the club. But the striker will surely experience a tough time when he comes up against Gary Cahill on Tuesday.
Cahill had a good game against United on the weekend, but he will probably be without his experienced partner and Captain, Terry, making the battle even more interesting on Tuesday. Given the height of Collins, the England International will also have a job to negate the aerial threat, in addition to nullifying the spaces for Collins to work in. Definitely an interesting battle to watch out for!
CAMERON GAYLE vs ANDRE SCHURRLE
After suffering from a flu that kept him out of the team for a few weeks, Andre Schurrle is fit and ready to take on Shrewsbury Town in the midweek clash. It has been a decent start to the season for Schurrle, but far from what we have come to expect from the winger after his brilliant World Cup performance.The German keeps getting into dangerous positions, but his finishing and first touch have really let him down so far this season.
Schurrle will have a chance to show his class and prove his worth tomorrow when he comes up against the young Cameron Gayle in his preferred position on the left wing. The 21 year old right-back, known for his athleticism and versatility, has been in good form for the Shrewsbury side this season so far, but the defender will probably have a tough time coming up against a pacey Schurrle, making it a battle to watch out for on the left side of our pitch.
JORDAN CLARK vs JOHN OBI MIKEL
After missing the past few games due to a toe injury, Mikel came back as a sub in the weekend game against United, and he is set to start on Tuesday in his usual DM position. The Nigerian midfielder hasn’t been a regular in Mourinho’s team this season and has mostly been used as a sub to close out the games, partly due to some excellent performance from Matic and Fabregas in his position.
On Tuesday though, it would be a brilliant chance for Mikel to make his mark on the team when he comes up against Jordan Clark. Jordan Clark has been in brilliant form for his club since the start of the season, playing in behind the striker or sometimes in the wide position in the midfield, scoring 3 goals in the process.
The 21-year-old English midfielder will be the primary creative outlet of the Micky Mellon side on Tuesday, and it will be the job of John Obi Mikel to stop the Englishman from getting into dangerous positions. If the Nigerian succeeds in doing so, he would certainly cause some selection headache for Mourinho.
Edited By: Girish Bhangre