After early-round losses the last two seasons, Chelsea are looking to reach the quarterfinals of the League Cup — known as the Carabao Cup these days for sponsorship reasons — for the first time since winning it all as part of José Mourinho’s mini-Double in 2014-15. Everton, meanwhile, are looking to at least repeat their semifinal berth from two years ago, especially as their league season crumbles around them.
Both teams will be looking to turn around recent rough patches, with Chelsea just back on the winning track after three winless and Everton looking to start the post-Koeman era on a positive note.
That said, both teams are expected to rotate heavily, and the game could thus easily turn into one of those classic League Cup low-pressure high-scoreline laughers.
Date / Time: Wednesday, October 25, 19:45 BST; 2:45pm EDT; 12:15am IST (next day)
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Neil Swarbrick — Swarbrick is back for the first time since the final matchday of last season, when Chelsea lifted the Premier League trophy. Chelsea have never lost a game refereed by Swarbrick in 14 previous tries, winning the last eight in a row.
Forecast: Bright day; cloudy night.
On TV: none (UK); none (USA); none (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: ESPN3 (USA); BBC Radio 5 Live, talkSport 2 (UK radio); ChelseaTV (int’l radio)
Chelsea team news: Danny Drinkwater and N’Golo Kanté and Victor Moses remain out with various muscle injuries, while the rest of the squad is comprised of a decent amount of walking wounded. Both Tiemoué Bakayoko and David Luiz were carrying knocks over the weekend, while the likes of Gary Cahill, Antonio Rüdiger, and even Eden Hazard were seen limping at one time or another.
In light of all those concerns, Chelsea are set for a second “Academy Day” this season, with Conte confirming starts already for Charly Musonda Jr and Kenedy.
Preferred lineup: The lineup that most, including WAGNH at large seem to be preferring should be more than enough to win this one.
Caballero (89%) | Cahill (45%), Christensen (99%), Rüdiger (85%) | Kenedy (91%), Fàbregas (59%), Ampadu (70%), Zappacosta (89%) | Musonda (94%), Batshuayi (95%), Willian (75%)
Everton team news: On Monday, Everton finally made the move that everyone had been expecting by pulling the plug on Ronald Koeman and leaving the team, at least temporarily, in the hands of interim boss David Unsworth (for the second time ever, in fact).
The change in manager has not shortened Everton’s injury list however, with Ross Barkley, Aaron Lennon, Ramiro Funes Mori, Seamus Coleman, and Yannick Bolasie all set to miss out. Key midfielder Gana Gueye is suspended following his red card on the weekend in the game that Everton went on to lose 5-2 against Arsenal. That was Everton’s fifth straight match in all competitions without a win. In fact, they had won just 2 of their last 13 games, which included a 2-0 loss at the Bridge earlier this season.
View from the enemy: Royal Blue Mersey
Previously: Highlights of the 2-0 from earlier this season.