So, Everton make the journey to Stamford Bridge for the second time this season but a lot has changed since that 2-0 away loss back in August. Ronald Koeman is gone, and under 23’s coach and former player David Unsworth will fill the void left by the Dutchman in the dugout for this one, and maybe more to come…
Every Everton manager to lead the club to post-war silverware has donned the royal blue in their playing career and who knows? If all goes well in West London on Wednesday evening, Unsworth could just be the man to continue the trend.
But onto the hosts…
Chelsea ended a winless run stretching three games with a victory over high-flying Watford at the weekend. It wasn’t all that convincing, though. Marco Silva’s side had the lead at Stamford Bridge before a late, late onslaught kicked the Blues into gear.
But the three they shipped to Italian side Roma in the Champions League last week, a humiliating defeat at the hands of Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace and a home loss to Manchester City before that Watford win showed that there is a weakness embedded within the Champions. A weakness Unsworth will be looking to exploit.
Already sitting nine points behind leaders City, Antonio Conte will be targeting the cup competitions. The Italian will know just how ruthless the board at Chelsea is, and a campaign without any trophies will most probably spell the end for Conte despite the fantastic title win last season.
Who are the dangermen for the home side?
Eden Hazard missed Everton’s trip earlier in the year but the electrifying Belgian attacker is fit and raring to go against what has been a shaky Everton defence.
The Balon d’Or nominee can light up any game and has proved over the years that he is one of the best players in the division.
A man who has already found joy against the Blues this season is Spain striker Alvaro Morata, heading past Jordan Pickford to make it 2-0 and essentially seal the game off in the first half.
He has been a revelation since his summer move from Real Madrid, making Diego Costa a distant memory for Chelsea supporters. And coming up against a side that has shipped 26 goals this term, he is one man in the stadium who’ll fancy his chances.
Team news –
The hosts will be without PFA Player of the Year N’Golo Kante through injury and the Frenchman has already proved a massive miss in their side. Danny Drinkwater and Victor Moses are also unavailable.
On the other hand, the visitors will be minus Idrissa Gueye after his red card in that 5-2 defeat at the hands of Arsenal but besides all the long-term absentees, David Unsworth has confirmed everyone is fit and available for the Toffees.
Everton are going into this without tasting a win in six long games, so there are few who’ll be looking past Chelsea for a place in the quarter final of the Carabao Cup.
But that could play right into Everton’s hands, going into the game under no immense pressure, players who have been bound by negativity in the camp are free to go out and perform to their best under the interim boss…
Up the Toffees.