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Shrewsbury Town vs. Chelsea, League Cup: Team news, TV & streaming information, preview

A place in the League Cup quarterfinals is on the line as Chelsea travel to the West Midlands.

Chris Brunskill

I was going to run with some Shakespearean parallels, but the "Taming of the Shrew" has aged perhaps the worst of any of the famous scribe's plays (hello, misogyny, my old friend!) -- and you should just watch 10 Things I Hate About You instead anyway -- so let's just play it straight.

So what's a Shrewsbury Town?  A club dating back to 1886, playing in the county town of the same name.  With Shropshire's proximity to Wales, they even competed in Welsh cups back in the early days before getting elected to the Football League in 1950.  They have yet to make it above Tier 2, though they've spent just the one solitary season (2003-04) out of the league since.  Incidentally, it was in the relegation season that they last faced Chelsea, in the FA Cup fourth round.

This season they're back in League Two (i.e. Tier 4) following relegation from League One.  Having notched their fourth victory in a row this weekend with a 2-1 comebacker over Portsmouth -- wait, Pompey?  What?  What the... what happened? -- they sit fourth, three points off the top but with the division's best goal differential.  Adding to their potential pedigree of being this year's Bradford City are wins over Leicester City, Norwich City, and Blackpool.  (Though they've yet to face a Chelsea team unbeaten in all competitions this season.)

"We know we have a difficult match because they are doing very well in their league and they have done very well against superior teams in the Capital One Cup. It's a big day for them. We know it will be difficult for us but that's football."

"Every game is important. Shrewsbury in the Capital One Cup is not a friendly. We have to play matches with respect and the best way to respect Shrewsbury is to go there with a good team, not to go there with a weak team and lose. We will go there with a good team. If they win they win, but they win against a good team."

-Jose Mourinho; source: Chelsea FC

Town have moved into a sparkling new stadium recently, a move that generated some controversy as the new venue is on the edge of town rather than in the center.  Some controversy should surely follow the egregious spelling of their stadium sponsor's name as well.  The usually half-full venue will be sold out for just the third time in its seven-year existence with over 10,000 expected for Chelsea and the Sky Sports cameras.

Date / Time: Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 19:45 BST; 3:45pm EST; 1:15am IST (next day)

Venue: Greenhous Meadow, Shrewsbury, England

Referee: Neil Swarbrick - Chelsea are unbeaten in the six previous matches (4-2-0) officiated by the 48-year-old Premier League and Championship referee.  We saw him three times last season, including the 0-0 draw from the 19th Century.

Forecast: Heavy rain and gusty wins.  Also known as giant-killing time...

On TV: Sky Sports 1 (UK); beIN Sports en Español (USA); Ten Action (India); elsewhere

Online: Sky Go (UK); beIN Sports CONNECT (USA)

Shrewsbury Town Team News: Some players are injured, many more are available.  They have two Marks, two Andys, and two Jameses.  Ex-Stoke City player of the year and three-season Premier League veteran Liam Lawrence is the captain.  There's a random French-Ivorian called Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro in the squad as well.  Non-West Ham Nonwelshman James Collins is their leading scorer with 6 in 18.

Chelsea Team News: Branislav Ivanović will serve his one-match suspension for disturbing Angel Di Maria's aura.  He will join César Azpilicueta in the sin bin.  Loïc Rémy is injured.  Diego Costa is something.  Ramires may or may not be something as well.

With the match coming barely 48 hours after the final whistle at Old Trafford on Sunday, plenty of changes are expected.  André Schürrle, Mohamed Salah, Kurt Zouma, Nathan Aké, and John Obi Mikel have already been confirmed as starters.  Should we maybe poke Mark Schwarzer to see if he's still alive?  Young guns Lewis Baker, Izzy Brown, and Andreas Christensen could all feature after missing the U21 team's 1-0 defeat on Monday.  Not missing that game, and thus certainly not available to feature for the first-team were Dom Solanke, Jeremie Boga, Todd Kane, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Regardless of the lineup, we will be expected to win easily and win big.

Previously: Believe it or not, this will actually be our 16th meeting all-time, most of those coming in the '80s when both sides spent a bit of time in the old Second Division.  Since 1989 however, the two teams have met only once, a 4-0 win for Chelsea in the FA Cup Fourth Round.  Hello, Little Magician:

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