Chelsea welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening in the Carabao Cup and our writers have shared their preferred lineups for the clash
Chelsea will look to put their poor run of form and goal scoring woes behind them on Wednesday as they welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to Stamford Bridge in the Carabao Cup. The Blues have not scored a goal in the last three games in the Premier League and will be hoping their attacking fortunes will be different in the cup.
However, they will have to do it against an in-form Seagulls side who have started their Premier League season with five wins from their opening six matches. Mauricio Pochettino, though, will be hoping his side can start to get some confidence in them and perhaps build some momentum as we prepare to head into October.
Last time out, the Blues were beaten 1-0 at home to Aston Villa. Despite a flurry of opportunities and a disallowed goal for Chelsea, it was Ollie Watkins’ second-half strike that proved to be the winner for the travelling Villa at Stamford Bridge.
There could be a couple of changes for Chelsea in Wednesday night’s cup game. Pochettino, however, will not be able to rotate his team as much as he would have liked because of the lengthy injury list the Blues currently have.
Benoit Badiashile and Carney Chukwuemeka are both back in partial team training after lengthy layoffs but the duo are set to miss the game at Stamford Bridge. Armando Broja, while coming off the bench in the defeat to Villa, is not ready to start the cup game, as Pochettino confirmed in Tuesday afternoon’s pre-match press conference.
Meanwhile, Marcus Bettinelli, Trevoh Chalobah, Wesley Fofana, Reece James, Christopher Nkunku and Romeo Lavia are still working on their recoveries and will miss the Brighton clash. So, with that said, football.london’s Chelsea writers Bobby Vincent and Scott Trotter have chosen what side they would like to see against the Seagulls on Wednesday evening.
Robert Sanchez has done a stellar job in goal in the last couple of games especially but it would be good to see a debut for summer signing Djordje Petrovic against Brighton. Petrovic is very highly rated by the club and is said to have settled in well in west London.
There are not too many options for the right-back slot. Malo Gusto was shown a straight red card on Sunday so he will serve the first match of his suspension against Brighton, meaning it is likely to be Axel Disasi on the right-hand side with James still injured.
Thiago Silva looks like he could do with a rest from the team, so why not bring Alfie Gilchrist into the side? The 19-year-old has just signed a contract extension with the club so is clearly highly rated and with not too many other options, he could be a brilliant partner to Levi Colwill.
We could see Ben Chilwell return to left-back with Colwill likely to move into centre-back. Lesley Ugochukwu and Moises Caicedo would be an exciting double pivot to see – with Enzo Fernandez rested.
Onto the front four and personally, I would like to see Raheem Sterling rested and Noni Madueke come in on the right wing. Cole Palmer as a No.10 behind Nicolas Jackson, with Mykhailo Mudryk on the left.
Who says no? Probably Pochettino, to be honest.
Bobby’s lineup: Petrovic; Disasi, Gilchrist, Colwill, Chilwell; Ugochukwu, Caicedo; Madueke, Palmer, Mudryk; Jackson.
Injuries leave little room for much rotation for Pochettino, but such is the significance of the Carabao Cup as a measure of success amid poor Premier League form, the Blues boss will have to pick the strongest possible team. Sanchez will face his former side after an impressive start to life in the Chelsea net.
The backline should see a change amid Gusto’s absence and James’ injury. Disasi, Silva and Colwill should all move one slot to the right with Chilwell coming into the side at left-back to captain the side.
Caicedo will be in for a busy evening against the Seagulls, with Enzo and Conor Gallagher likely to continue in midfield. Though there will perhaps be a temptation to utilise Palmer in the No.10 role.
Jackson will have to lead the line before his suspension kicks in with support from Sterling. Perhaps there is a hope that Mudryk can repeat his summer exploits against Brighton from the bench.
Scott’s lineup: Sanchez; Disasi, Silva, Colwill, Chilwell; Caicedo, Gallagher, Fernandez; Sterling, Jackson, Palmer