The Carabao Cup is upon us once again and this time it’s the fourth round as Chelsea host managerless Everton at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea eased past Championship side Nottingham Forest with a 5-1 third round success whilst Everton’s third round was just as simple as they also fought off Championship opposition with a 3-0 victory over Sunderland.
Everton sacked manager Ronald Koeman this week after their 5-2 home humiliation by Arsenal saw them drop into the relegation places.
Chelsea’s weekend wasn’t as disastrous as they came back from 2-1 down to win 4-2 at home to high flying Watford.
Last Seasons Meeting
The last time these two teams faced off was in April as Chelsea all but secured the Premier League title with a 3-0 win at Goodison park. Second half goals from Pedro, Gary Cahill and Willian saw the visitors go four points clear off Tottenham with just four games remaining in the title race.
The reverse fixture was in November as Chelsea ran riot in a 5-0 victory at Stamford Bridge. Two goals from Eden Hazard accompanied with goals from Marcos Alonso, Pedro and the now departed Diego Costa saw Chelsea climb to the top of the Premier League, a position they would end up not surrendering.
Chelsea remain without PFA Player of the Year N’Golo Kanté and new signing Danny Drinkwater. Both sides are expected to make wholesale changes with Chelsea rotation players such as Kenedy, Andreas Christensen, Willy Cabellero and Charly Musonda expected to start at Stamford Bridge.
After his two goals off the bench against Watford at the weekend, Michy Batshuayi could hugely benefit from a rare start ahead of Alvaro Morata. New signing Davide Zappacosta could also make an appearance after struggling to nail down a starting spot since his deadline day move from Torino.
Everton remain without key players Ross Barkley, Seamus Coleman, Yannick Bolasie and James McCarthy. Spanish striker Sandro Ramirez has yet to hit the ground running since his arrival from Malaga so a cup goal could be what he needs to kick start his season.
Maarten Stekelenburg is likely to deputise for Jordan Pickford with Muhamed Besic and Ademola Lookman likely to gain valuable playing time as well. Kevin Mirallas is becoming a frustrated figure at Goodison Park, a start for the Belgian is due and he needs to take his chance if he is to revive his Everton career.
Score prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Everton