Chelsea will take on Derby County tonight in the Capital One Cup quarter-final tie at Pride Park, where Jose Mourinho will be looking to field a strong side for this game.
The Blues have had a poor run in the League cup over the past few years. Last season, they lost out to Sunderland, the year before, were defeated by Swansea City. And the year before, Liverpool, who eventually went on to win the cup, defeated Chelsea in the quarter-finals.
This season, the Blues are on paper the favourites to win the competition. They are top of the Premier League and with Man City, United & Arsenal already eliminated, they feel they have a great chance of winning this competition.
Usually cup-games are ideal for squad rotations – players that do not feature regularly in the Premier League are being used here. Petr Cech therefore will come in, though in his case, his inclusion is based on Thibaut Courtois’ absence with a groin injury.
Chelsea rested several first team players in their last league cup game against Shrewsbury town. They struggled in the game and needed an 81st min own goal to progress to the quarter finals. Therefore, Mourinho may not risk fielding a relatively second string squad.
With a favourable TV schedule to bank upon, Chelsea have a six-day gap between Derby County and next Monday’s visit to Stoke City, Mourinho should be able to field a strong side for this game.
Azpilicueta was rested against Hull City and the Spaniard is primed to start tonight. Fabregas should also find himself in the starting XI while Schurrle and Oscar might form the attacking trio for the Blues, although Willian and Salah provide Mourinho other options.
Costa, Drogba and Remy are all fit for this game, and anybody could be used, but the Frenchman is more likely to play.
Gary Cahill might be rested so in his place Kurt Zouma may come in to play alongside John Terry.
Mourinho has mainly used an attacking 4-2-3-1 formation, expect the Blues manager to continue that tactics for this game. Here is the possible Chelsea lineup.
Prediction: Cup games are difficult to predict but with so many first team players featuring tonight, expect Chelsea to win 2-0 comfortably.