Chelsea face Barnsley in the Carabao Cup today, three days after losing to Premier League Champions, Liverpool at Stamford Bridge. This will be Chelsea’s third match of the 2020/21 season and the fans will surely be expecting an easy run over the Championship side.
While Frank Lampard acknowledged the danger his opponents will pose, he affirmed that the match will only be a match fitness game to his side. A translation that new faces will be seen. He also added he has a lot of first-team players waiting to play, thus no chance for any academy debut.
This will be the first meeting between these two since the FA Cup tie in 2008. Barnsley have beaten fellow Championship opponents Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough on their way to this stage without conceding a goal.
Players out, Players in
Both Ziyech and Pulisic remain out of contention as they are edging close to return from injury. Chilwell has been included in the match squad for tomorrow. Thiago Silva could also be making his Chelsea debut tomorrow, Lampard confirmed he’ll get some minutes. No confirmation on whether Antonio Rudiger will return into the squad after being left out of the squad that played Liverpool.
7.45 pm K/O UK time on Wednesday 23 September.
The venue for the match is Stamford Bridge.
The match is being streamed live in the UK on the carabaocup.live website. The match pass costs £10.
There will be radio commentary on talkSPORT 2.
My preferred lineup
4-3-3: Caballero, Silva, Tomori, Azpilicueta, Chilwell, Jorginho, Barkley, Loftus-cheek, Hudson-Odoi, Abraham, Havertz.
Caballero had already been picked in goal for this match before the Liverpool game. Since Lampard said we’re going into this game to gain match fitness, I’ll love to play players we haven’t seen much this season.
Silva to pair Tomori in the backline. Captain Dave returning to the starting XI, while Chilwell makes his monitored debut (should probably share minutes with Emerson) given he’s just recovering. Loftus-Cheek should also get minutes to gain more momentum. Hudson-Odoi, one who should have started at least one Premier League game – must definitely start.
Havertz needs to continue knowing the tactics and his teammates hence his inclusion. Abraham over Giroud seems harsh but fair, Abraham should start a match at this stage. But, if Lampard can come up with a shape to occupy a front three of Hudson-Odoi x Abraham x Giroud, I’m all for that.