Chelsea V Southampton: EFL Cup Match Preview

Chelsea 3-1 Southampton, Premier League: Post-match reaction, ratings - We  Ain't Got No History
Timo Werner back on the scoresheet last time out against the Saints (Image credit: We Ain’t Got No History)

Chelsea’s second Carabao cup outing of the season awaits them tonight, with a match against Southampton on the horizon. Following a 7-0 routing at the Bridge on Saturday morning, the Blues now turn their attention to the League cup, a trophy of which they have been hunting for a number of years now. Chelsea’s last League cup triumph came in 2014/15, the same year they won the Premier League. Chelsea have made the League cup final eight times, winning on five occasions.

Southampton on the other hand are yet to achieve glory in the EFL Cup as of yet. The Saint’s came agonisingly close against Manchester United in 2017, but glory was stolen from their grasp by an 87th minute winner from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Ralph Hasenhüttl will hope to try and edge past the current Premier League leaders this evening, but their task at hand is a might one, with Chelsea in venomous form.

Speaking of which, lets talk about Saturday, shall we? A truly stellarperformance from Chelsea, scoring seven goals, which was generous considering we finished the game with 13 shots on target. Tim Krul actually saved Norwich from even more embarrassment, which is hard to believe. Not only were the seven goals impressive, but all around the pitch, Chelsea expressed themselves like champions. Let’s hope fortunes can be repeated this evening.

Chelsea fans go berserk as Mason Mount scores a hat-trick in 7-0 win vs  Norwich City
Mason ‘Matchball’ Mount after his stunning display on Saturday (Image credit: A Stamford Bridge Too Far)

Team news and updates:

It is likely that we see some rotation throughout the team tonight, with the regular starters earning a rest following four successive victories. Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner are definitely out, with Christian Pulisic also set to miss the game. The rest of the squad is fully fit, and changes will be expected from Tuchel

“There will be some changes, how much I don’t know yet.

Sometimes you can never be fully sure, do you interrupt a good flow, is it better to keep everybody in there and playing to keep the momentum going or is it the moment to give some players a rest?”

Thomas Tuchel via chelseafc.com

As per Football London, we also understand Harvey Vale trained with the first team yesterday and there is a good chance he could be with the squad tonight.

Predicted Lineup:

This is going to be a longshot, but I’ll give it a go anyway.

Arrizabalaga

Chalobah, Christensen, Sarr

Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso

Mount, Loftus Cheek, Barkley

I think the front three here would be rotational, with all three players swapping roles throughout the game. I think Barkley was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet against Norwich, and could have added to the scoreline with more sharpness, and a start upfront tonight could very much improve the parts of his game that are rusty.

Some Chelsea fans hail Mateo Kovacic performance in 7-0 Norwich win
Kova was electric in Saturdays victory (Image credit: The Chelsea Chronicle)

Kovacic was quietly exceptional on Saturday, running the show from the middle of the park, so he keeps his place for me. Kepa between the sticks just works in the cup, so I’m more than happy to gve Mendy a well earned rest tonight. Hat trick hero Mason Mount also has so start for me.

Players to watch:

Ruben Loftus Cheek: It’s that man again. Maybe it’s my own personal bias, or the fact that I adore watching this man play football. But surely I’m not the only one, right? RLC has been immense this season, and every time he is called upon he shines. I think 90 minutes is certain for Ruben this evening, and I expect him to grab a goal or an assist too. He unselfishly slotted Mount in for his hat trick on Saturday, and I think this is the perfect chance for Thomas Tuchel to see what he is really about.

Football news - Opinion: Ruben Loftus-Cheek (and the academy) is Thomas  Tuchel's not so secret weapon - Eurosport
RLC dominating the midfield against the Saints last time out (Image credit: Eurosport)

Tino Livramento: Tino has enjoyed his start to his Saints career, and has looked like a player way older than he is. The full back looks like he has years of experience behind him, and has been Southampton’s star man in recent weeks. He also grabbed himself a goal at the weekend against Burnley, and the 18-year-old will be aiming to catch Thomas Tuchel’s eyes, as the player has a buyback clause in his contract that could see him return to Chelsea in the future.

Score Prediction:

Chelsea 3-1 Southampton

Loftus Cheek, Barkley, Azpilicueta

Armstrong

Written by @mashgreaves 

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