Chelsea welcome Championship side Barnsley to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening for a third-round clash in the Carabao Cup.
(Mr Green odds above – Chelsea win/Draw/Barnsley win)
Next up of the big names to enter the Carabao Cup is Chelsea, who will lock horns with Barnsley at Stamford Bridge in a third-round clash on Wednesday evening.
The two sides square off in west London on the back of disappointing starts to their respective campaigns. Chelsea, for example, were brought back down to earth in almost brutal fashion in last weekend’s 2-0 loss to Liverpool after summer laden with hope and promise. While Barnsley have lost both their opening fixture in the Championship.
Wednesday’s clash will be the first time the Tykes have faced Chelsea since their famous 1-0 win in the 2007/08 FA Cup quarter-finals. The winner will meet either Leyton Orient or Tottenham, whose own tie was suspended on Tuesday.
Despite a 3-1 win away to Brighton in their Premier League season opener, the Blues have struggled in general. They’ve won just once in their last five outings in all competitions, including one friendly. The 2-0 defeat to Liverpool, in particular, exposed their recurring problems despite the big-money summer arrivals.
Hosting a struggling Barnsley side may be exactly what Chelsea need in order to kick-start their campaign, though. They have the strength and depth to nail a comfortable victory. It may provide a chance for several players to get in on the action, including Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Frank Lampard should have an easier job once all his summer signings are available as well. Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell, for example, are both available to make their debuts. This game may also provide Kai Havertz a chance to make his mark.
The five-time EFL Cup winners are gunning to claim a sixth title this season, and a first one since 2014/15.
Key Team Stats
- Haven’t failed to progress past the third round since 2010/11.
- The last lower division club to eliminate Chelsea from the EFL Cup was Burnley in 2008.
- Have only kept two clean sheets in last 10 games in all competitions (one friendly included) and conceded 21 goals in this period.
Gerhard Struber’s side have endured a miserable start to their Championship campaign, sitting 20th in the standings with no points following losses against Luton Town and most recently Reading. In fact, they’ve yet to score a goal.
On the upside, however, Barnsley have recorded back-to-back victories in the EFL Cup. Those fixtures weren’t easy ones either, having to overcome fellow Championship sides Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough to make the third-round. Thus, they’ll hope to pull off an upset against Chelsea. And why not either? After all, they’ve got nothing to lose at this stage.
A shock victory at Stamford Bridge will also give the Tykes passage into the fourth-round for the first time since 2009/10.
Key Team Stats
- Last away win over a Premier League club was against Liverpool in 2007/08.
- Last win at Stamford Bridge came in March 1983 (37 years ago).
- Have lost six of their last 10 away games in all competitions.
Chelsea: Andreas Christensen is suspended after his red card against Liverpool. Hakim Ziyech is still not ready to make his debut as the former Ajax star and Christian Pulisic work their way back to fitness. Willy Caballero, meanwhile, will start in goal for the Blues. While Cesar Azpilicueta, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley are also expected to return to the line-up. Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell may begin life at Chelsea from the bench.
Barnsley: Losing suspended center-backs Mads Juel Andersen and Michal Helik is an unfortunate blow. Another defender in Bambo Diaby is also serving a suspension. The visitors do, however, have no big injury concerns.