The upcoming duel against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup is well and truly upon us. Revenge will be on the minds of Chelsea fans and players alike after a 4-0 defeat earlier on in the season. A ruthless scoreline that didn’t paint the picture of the game accurately. However, now things are quite different, aren’t they? Chelsea are coming off the back of 7 wins in a row in all competitions. Whilst Manchester United are enduring a patch of inconsistent form. A recent win against Norwich for the Red Devils will have them quietly given them an ounce of extra confidence, whilst Chelsea’s last 5 minutes against Burnley should have regained their focus and shutdown and form of overconfidence that may be brewing.
Much of Chelsea’s team is up in the air this evening with the list of players in possible contention, endless. Christensen, Emerson, and Barkley are all doubts. Whilst Rudiger and Kante have been confirmed as out of contention (Nizaar Kinsella), making this one of Frank Lampard’s most difficult to predict lineups of the season.
With Chelsea in all 4 competitions rotation can be expected, with hints to the possibility of Pedro or Giroud starting in today’s press conference. Last time Chelsea played a Carabao Cup game was against lower league opposition in Grimsby. Starts were awarded to Billy Gilmour and Guehi, it’ll be interesting to see if the same youthful injection is applied here.
For Manchester United, Mason Greenwood hasn’t traveled. With De Gea, Pogba, Matic and Shaw the notable absentees. An attacking trio of James, Rashford, and Martial can be expected, especially after their contributions to the goals scored at the weekend. Manchester United’s pass to this stage of the Carabao Cup wasn’t as comfortable as Chelsea’s, to say the least. With a 5-3 penalty shootout win against Rochdale. Not the convincing performance you’d certainly expect.
As previously stated, Manchester United and Chelsea have already gone to war once this season at Old Trafford in August. A game of missed chances for the Blues and ruthless finishing from the Red Devils. Swift counter-attacking football via the vision of Pogba combined with Chelsea’s faulty offside trap was the story of the match. The space between the midfield and defence while pressing in a double pivot is an area Chelsea seem to have rectified, improving their chances this time around.
The previous fixture is also only one of the two examples you can find where Manchester United have scored more than one goal in a game this season. The most recent example coming against Norwich last weekend. So, a multitude of goals certainly won’t be expected from this Manchester United team. Chelsea themselves are in much better form defensively with 3 clean sheets in the last 6 matches. A massive improvement. The last time these two sides faced each other in a cup competition was the 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup last season. To say Chelsea will be seeking revenge would be putting it lightly.
Tomorrow night’s game presents the opportunity for both sides to progress onto the quarter-final stage of this competition as both managers search for their first trophy in charge of their respective clubs. Defeat in a big fixture like this always leaves a sour taste in any fan’s mouth regardless of the form going into it. Chelsea vs Manchester United is always a huge clash.
My Predicted Lineups
Chelsea: Caballero, James, Zouma, Tomori, Emerson, Gilmour, Kovacic, Pulisic, Pedro, Hudson-Odoi, Giroud.
Manchester United: Romero, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Rojo, Young, Fred, McTominay, Pereira, James, Martial, Rashford.
Chelsea vs Manchester United
Wednesday 30th October
Kickoff: 20:05 UK time
Enjoy the clash of the titans…