The Chelsea XI That Should Start Against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup

​Another weekend, another win for Frank Lampard’s Chelsea as the Blues extended their winning run to seven in all competitions – this time thanks to Christian Pulisic’s hat-trick in a 4-2 win against Burnley.

After maintaining fourth spot in the Premier League table, their attention now turns to the Carabao Cup and a fourth-round tie at home to Manchester United.

In the previous round against Grimsby, Lampard introduced a few more youngsters to his senior squad. The likes of Reece James, Billy Gilmour and Marc Guehi all getting starts in the 7-1 rout, whilst Tino Anjorin and Ian Maatsen made substitute appearances.

Despite the stronger opposition this time around, Lampard will likely opt for a similar lineup to the one that started at Stamford Bridge last month as he’ll want his Premier League starters rested for their trip to Watford on Saturday.

Here’s how Lampard could lineup his charges for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup tie…

Goalkeeper & Defenders

Reece James

Willy Caballero (GK) – With Kepa Arrizabalaga the number one, Caballero doesn’t get a sniff in the Premier League. The Carabao Cup is where the Argentine comes out to play and he’s a nailed-on starter for Wednesday’s game.

Reece James (RB) – The 19-year-old enjoyed an incredible loan spell at Wigan last season and despite the plethora of young talent at Chelsea, James might be the most exciting of them all. He has the potential to be a Chelsea great but after an injury to start the season, followed by  Cesar Azpilicueta’s recent form, his minutes in the Premier League have been minimal. He should get the chance to strut his stuff against strong opposition on Wednesday, however.

Kurt Zouma (CB) – His stout performances at the back for the Blues have been overshadowed by the emergence of Fikayo Tomori. The Frenchman has continued his fine form from his loan spell at Everton last season and will likely get the nod for this one. His experience will be important for potential partner Marc Guehi against United.

Marc Guehi (CB) – With the number of injuries at the heart of the Chelsea defence, Guehi is expected to make his second consecutive start in this competition as Lampard looks to rest one of his starting centre-halves. Guehi has been at the club since 2007 and has represented England at every single youth level, making four appearances for the Under-21s. His start against Grimsby was his first senior start for the Blues and he’s set to make it number two in this one.

Emerson Palmieri (LB) – Injury thwarted his bright start to the season and has since fallen behind Marcos Alonso – who looks like he’s finding a little bit of his 2016/17 form – in the pecking order. The Italian has talent and could certainly start regularly in the Premier League, however, for now, he’ll have to make do with cup starts as he looks to impress Lampard.


Moses Ogbu,Billy Gilmour

Jorginho (CM) – Central midfield is a bit of an issue for Chelsea at the moment – in terms of injuries, as performance-wise Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic have been wonderful. With N’Golo Kante and Ross Barkley likely missing, Lampard can’t afford to rotate too much, leaving him with no choice but to start Kovacic or Jorginho in this one. The Italian may get the nod.

Billy Gilmour (CM) – Come on Chelsea, share the talent around. Gilmour is another prospect that hasn’t been talked about too much, yet. The 18-year-old shone in the previous round against Grimsby and last month, and Lampard has previously described how he is ‘lighting-up’ training.

Pedro (CAM) – The Spaniard, who enjoyed plenty of game time last season under Maurizio Sarri, has seen his minutes dwindle under Lampard as youth has come to the fore for the Blues. There’s no doubt that the former Barça star can still play and his energy will be a nuisance for the United defence in a number ten role. 


Michy Batshuayi

Willian (RW) – The appointment of Lampard as manager has seemingly lit a fire underneath Brazilian winger Willian, as he looks a rejuvenated character this season. Always up for the big occasion, his experience could prove valuable for the Blues as they look to oust one of their fiercest rivals from the competition.

Michy Batshuayi (ST) – The social media icon came up with the goods against Ajax last week, scoring the winner with only 15 minutes left to play. After successful spells at Dortmund and Crystal Palace in the past two seasons, many thought Batshuayi would become a big part of Lampard’s plans going forward. However, the electric start to the season by Tammy Abraham has forced the Belgian to settle for number two in the pecking order, meaning he should start in this one.

Callum Hudson-Odoi (LW) – The talent just keeps on coming in this Chelsea squad, this time in the shape of young winger Callum Hudson-Odoi. Initially ruled out at the start of the season with an Achilles problem, he’s bounced back well – and made his Champions League debut in Amsterdam last Wednesday. Has the ability to isolate and burn defenders with his pace, and will be one to watch on the night.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *