Tonight, in a Capital One Cup tie, we resume hostilities with Manchester United.
After the shenanigans of Sunday, we can only hope that tonight passes off without any major incidents. Football doesn`t need what reputedly happened on Sunday, and as a matter of fact, nor does Chelsea Football Club.
The incidents, if unproven, will take us back to the dark days of the Mourinho era when our relations with the media, and the football authorities were teetering on the edge.
But what about a possible starting eleven tonight!
Well it appears that Roberto Di Matteo, on the back of a heavy schedule and a combination of suspensions and injuries; may be forced to make as many as nine changes.
Injury has already accounted for Frank Lampard, with the midfielder side-lined, whilst Ashley Cole has a swollen ankle and isn`t going to be risked.
As far as suspensions go, John Terry was already sidelined before the red cards on Sunday took care of Branislav Ivanovic`s and Fernando Torres` chances of participating.
There`s also the suggestion that Roberto Di Matteo is taking Juan Mata and John Mikel Obi out of the firing line, on the back of recent events whilst Oscar and Eden Hazard are also likely to be rested ahead of a plethora of big games coming our way.
Talking about events ahead of the tie, Roberto Di Matteo has remarked,
"It`s tricky. We have Ivanovic, Torres and Terry suspended, Lampard is out injured and Cole`s ankle is swollen and won`t recover in time."
"That reduces the squad and it`s also our fourth big game in 10 days so we are looking to freshen the team up a bit and put a couple of youngsters in.
"This type of game is a good opportunity for some of them. It will be great to see them perform."
So who might come into the fray?
Well we suspect that Sturridge, Azpilicueta, Piazon, Romeu and Marin all set to start whilst Paulo Ferreira may make a rare appearance.
There`s also the prospect of youngsters like George Saville and Nathan Ake getting a chance to sample the big game atmosphere from the bench.
All in all, the line-ups of both teams are likely to be much-changed from Sunday and the tie could all rest on the possibility that the tie will be decided by which club has the better fringe players!
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