The EFL Cup is back as Chelsea welcome Bournemouth to Stamford bridge to do battle for a place in the Semi-finals of the competition.
The premier league giants have started the season in brillinat fashion as they lie 4th on the table and are still in the title race plus other competition including this.
Amid a run of 10 games in the space of a month, Maurizio Sarri is expected to continue his rotation policy for the visit of fellow Premier League side Bournemouth.
Chelsea Team News
Eden Hazard (knock), Alvaro Morata (knee), Victor Moses (back), Marco van Ginkel (knee) and Gary Cahill (knock) are doubts for this match as Sarri is expected to look elsewhere for options.
Olivier Giroud will likely return in place of Eden Hazard as the latter is usually rested for less important matches like those in the EFL Cup.
Elsewhere, Cesc Fabregas was used against Derby in the last round and will likely be used again, giving Jorginho a welcome rest. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley are two more fringe players desperate for minutes. Callum Odson-Odoi could also be called into action as he deserves some playing time after some very good showing in recent memory.
Bournemouth have had a good season so far, as they were calmly in the top half of the Premier League table for the opening four months of the campaign, but a disappointing run of results have left Howe’s men in 11th place.
Eddie Howe however has remained positive in the media when asked about his side’s form, but there will be concern that an excellent start to the season will be undone by the turn of the year.
The Cherries are still just three points off sixth-placed Manchester United. Although trips to Tottenham Hotspur and United are still to come during the final weeks of 2018.
Unlike Chelsea who have the luxury of squad rotation, injuries will prevent Howe from being able to rotate his squad like in previous rounds. However, that could prove to be a blessing in disguise as Howe looks for a response to Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Bournemouth Team News
Many potential absentees exist as Adam Smith, Lewis Cook and Dan Gosling will all be missing due to knee injuries, while Simon Francis and Tyrone Mings got injured nust recently and will definitely be absent.
Youngster Jack Simpson could feature in the squad should the pair not be available for Wednesday night, and Diego Rico, Marc Pugh and Lys Mousset are all in contention for starting roles.
Also, Callum Wilson has been a able to shake off an injury that made him miss the weekend loss to Wolves. But it is not known if he will be risked for this match or not.
Head To Head
This EFL Cup tie represents just the 14th competitive contest between the two clubs, with Chelsea registering 10 wins in comparison to three victories for Bournemouth.