Chelsea’s opening league cup game is upon us, and after years of disappointment in the competition, can Chelsea finally change their fortune and go all the way. Granted, the Carabao Cup is not of the greatest importance, and us Chelsea fans know we have our eyes set on something bigger this season. But it’s okay to be greedy, right? Lets have them all.
Aston Villa stand in Chelsea’s way tonight, and a visit to Stamford Bridge is not the ideal start to the cup campaign for the Villians, having lost 3-0 at the Bridge two weeks prior. In the blue corner, however, Chelsea will be hoping to dispatch of Villa and progress to the last 16.
As we all know, form means little to nothing when it comes to the cup. Game plans go out the window, and things change dramatically. But I’m going to talk about it anyway. Chelsea are still unbeaten this season, having only dropped points to Liverpool. Villa are 3/5 in their last five matches, including the aforementioned loss to the Champions of Europe. Chelsea haven’t lost since todays opponents defeated them on the last game of the 2020/21 season.
Team news and Updates:
Early cup games can often be the breakthrough for players who are missing out on frequent minutes in the league. That is, however, when you aren’t up against another Premier League side. This may change Tuchel’s outlook on the game, but with that being said, I still expect to see a lot of rotation this evening.
One man I do think could feature from the first whistle is Timo Werner. Timo looked lively when he came on against Spurs, and even got an assist for Toni Rudiger’s goal. Moments like this are exactly what Timo needs to improve his confidence, and I think tonight’s game could be an excellent chance for him to get some vital minutes under his belt, along with a potential goal that could make all the difference for his confidence.
‘Timo can play with Romelu, that is sure, and he did very well at Tottenham the last 25 to 30 minutes of the match,’ he said. ‘That gave us a clear impression of how dangerous these two can be together.’Thomas Tuchel via chelseafc.com
Chalobah, Christensen, Rudiger
James, Saul, Barkley, Chilwell
Ziyech, Werner, Hudson-Odoi
With Mendy being confirmed to be unavailable, I think Kepa takes the GK spot this evening. Bettinelli could take it, however, I think we will see a strong Villa side this evening, so to try something so left field wouldn’t be a wise move. I think Barkley is questionable, and Kovacic could start ahead of him, but I would just like to see what Ross could do against the club he spent a season on loan with last year.
Players to watch:
Andreas Christensen: AC has been nothing short of exceptional over the past 6-8 months, and his work rate has been tremendous. The ‘Danish Maldini’ has completely turned his career around, and looks more than the player we all hoped he would be. His performances as of late have been outstanding, and I think he has a chance of captaining the side this evening. AC has just been so good, and I can see another standout performance over the horizon.
Danny Ings: Ings grabbed an assist at the weekend against Everton in Villa’s 3-0 romping of the Toffees, and has had a solid start to the season at his new club. Villa’s tactical style suits Ings very well, and given the chance, I think he could cause some trouble for Chelsea’s GK this evening. Let’s hope I’m wrong.
Chelsea 3-1 Villa
Werner, Ziyech, Barkley
Written by @mashgreaves