After playing in front of a 76,000-strong crowd at Old Trafford on Sunday, Premier League title favourites Chelsea make their way to the 10,000-capacity New Meadow to face League Two outfit Shrewsbury Town in the Capital One Cup fourth round this evening.
It’s a match which should be relatively straight-forward for Jose Mourinho’s side - but there’s always a chance of a dramatic cup upset in these David versus Goliath fixtures, and this one should certainly be categorised as a potential banana skin for the west London outfit.
Mourinho has used tonight to give some of his star players a well-deserved rest after a fabulous start to the 2014-15 campaign, offering a few of the club’s starlets a rare opportunity to shine in the process.
But Chelsea’s talented young guns will be under pressure to keep the momentum going. As if Shrewsbury weren’t daunted enough by the prospect of taking on the Blues, Mourinho’s side haven’t lost a competitive fixture since last season’s 3-1 Champions League semi-final defeat to Atletico Madrid back in April.
Shrewsbury, though, are in a rich vein of form themselves right now. Micky Mellon’s side made it four wins on the bounce with Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Portsmouth - and they haven’t lost since going down 1-0 to Plymouth Argyle at the start of the month.
- Capital One Cup: 4th round predictions
- Shrewsbury Town v Chelsea: Predicted line-ups
- Chelsea player ratings v Manchester United
The teams are now in - and here how they line up…
Shrewsbury Town: Leutwiler; Goldson (c), Grandison, Knight-Percival; Grimmer, Woods, Grant, Demetriou; Wesolowski; Collins, Akpa Akpro.
Subs: Burton, Ellis, Lawrence, Griffith, Vernon, Mangan, Clark.
Chelsea: Cech; Christensen, Zouma, Cahill, Filipe Luis; Mikel, Ake; Salah, Oscar, Schurrle; Drogba (c)
Subs: Schwarzer, Terry, Matic, Baker, Willian, Hazard, Brown.
The one surprise is that Didier Drogba starts again following his 90-minute appearance against the Red Devils on Sunday. This indicates that Diego Costa or Loic Remy should be fit to start the Blues' next match against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.
Mourinho names a mixed side of youthful zest and experience, while first-team regulars Eden Hazard, John Terry and Nemanja Matic and named amongst the substitutes.
Petr Cech comes in for Thibaut Courtois, while the likes of Oscar, Gary Cahill, Filipe Luis and Andre Schurrle all start for the visitors.
Plus: Stay tuned for player ratings, which will be published shortly after the final whistle.
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