Amidst the controversies surrounding Diego Costa and Eva Carneiro, Chelsea travels to Walsall to start the defense of their Capital One Cup.
Unlike the Premier League, you don’t get second chances in the Cup competitions and a horrible start here would mark the end of our Capital One Cup expedition. Jose Mourinho probably knows this and that’s why the Portuguese wouldn’t want to make any wholesale changes to the lineup.
Here’s how we think the Portuguese might start against the minnows from the lower league:
GK – ASMIR BEGOVIC
Jose Mourinho had already said a couple of days ago that he is considering handing Jamal Blackman a Chelsea debut, but given the physical nature of this match and the fact that it’s an away game, the boss might just stick with Begovic.
CB – JOHN TERRY AND KURT ZOUMA
A debut for Papy Djilobodji? I would like to think so, but I guess, the Portuguese would go with a fast, physical and a bit more experienced (in the English conditions) Centre Back in Zouma along with the already confirmed John Terry.
FULLBACKS – BABA RAHMAN AND BRANISLAV IVANOVIC
Time for Cesar Azpilicueta to rest a bit? Baba Rahman should probably start at the Left Back while, Ivanovic would be more than equipped to deal with the physical nature of this fixture.
CM – NEMANJA MATIC, RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK AND RAMIRES
I would like to think that Mourinho would most probably go with a 4-3-3 as Ramires comes in the lineup alongside Loftus-Cheek and Matic. Fabregas would probably get a bit of rest as Ramires would deal with the physicality of the lower league teams in the midfield.
WINGERS – EDEN HAZARD AND BERTRAND TRAORE
No rest for Eden Hazard? There’s a part of me hoping that Hazard gets a bit of rest but given his subpar performance so far, it’s better he gets a bit of a run in and maybe score/create a few goals. Bertrand Traore is expected to start on the Right Wing ahead of Pedro.
STRIKER – RADAMEL FALCAO
Mourinho has already made it clear that the Colombian will start the game for the Blues. Loic Remy would probably get a few minutes in the end.
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