Chelsea vs Derby County : Chelsea welcome back Frank Lampard in a managerial capacity in the 4th round of the League Cup. Chelsea takes on former player Frank Lampard on Wednesday in the EFL Cup, as Derby County visits Stamford Bridge.
As far as memorable (and televisable!) League Cup encounters go, this one has all the makings of a classic. Club and world football legend Frank Lampard returns to the place where he made his name, taking on the team who’s shirt he wore for 13 years, with whom he won multiple league and cup trophies and even a Champions League.
In tow, he’ll have a couple more former Chelsea players and coaches, as well as two of the Academy’s more promising loanees in Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori, who have been granted special dispensation from Chelsea to be able to play in this game. That they are two of Derby’s best players this season could be a problem later today.
Of course, Chelsea, third in the Premier League, will be expected to win easily over the Rams, sixth in the Championship. But so were Manchester United at Old Trafford and we can see where that got them.
It’s a single-elimination cup game, and anything can happen, especially on All Hallow’s Eve.
Eden Hazard has been confirmed to miss a third match in a row since suffering a back injury from Ashley Young’s scissor tackle ten days ago. Hopefully he will be back for the weekend. Others doubtful for tonight include Pedro, who was forced off on Sunday with a “stomach ache”, Olivier Giroud, who’s fatigued from looking good and scoring none, and Ethan Ampadu, who’s back in training but surely lacking match fitness after spending the last two months out with a knee injury.
Maurizio Sarri has adopted a sensible rotation schedule for the squad, with the first-string players getting the call on the weekends in the Premier League and the second-string players getting the call midweek in the Europa League and League Cup. Despite the high profile nature of this game, that pattern is expected to continue (just as it did in the previous round away at Anfield).
Chelsea remain unbeaten on the season in all actual competitions. That’s 14 in a row (10 in the league) for Sarri, which is surely exceeding anyone’s expectations. The honeymoon will eventually end, but let’s not go home just yet.
Lampard’s on a five-match unbeaten run himself, too, though managing only two wins in that time. Still, in the wild world of the Championship, that’s good enough for 6th place after 15 matches, which would be good enough for the promotion playoffs if the season ended today. But they’re only 4 points behind Sheffield United for the league lead, so it’s still all to play for after the first third of the season.
Other than the two Chelsea loanees, Lampard and Jody Morris have been getting solid performances from youngsters like Harry Wilson and Tom Lawrence, while the veteran players on the team — goalkeeper Scott Carson, defender Richard Keogh, midfielder Bradley Johnson, and striker David Nugent — have provided a steady base to build on.
Derby have nothing to lose and everything to gain. They already scored a famous upset this season by wining at Old Trafford in the third round — they also beat Oldham and Hull City, all away, in the previous two rounds — so what’s to stop them from believing they could do it again.
Derby County manager, Frank Lampard has revealed his side’s game plan ahead of their Carabao Cup clash with Chelsea at the Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
Lampard, a Chelsea legend, said County will attack Maurizio Sarri’s men in front of their home fans.
He, however, promised that his side will not park the bus as he prepares for an emotional game against his former club.
It will be emotional,” Express quoted Lampard as saying at a pre-match press conference.
“It’ll be nice for me to meet up with a lot of friends behind the scenes at the stadium and see 40,000 friends at the game before getting down to work mode.
“Will we attack them? It depends on the game plan. I’ve been asked if I’ll park the bus, and by nature my reaction to that would be, ‘No.
The Rams stunned Premier League side Manchester United at Old Trafford in the third round, having already overcome Oldham Athletic and Hull City, while Chelsea beat Liverpool last time out.
When the draw for the fourth round of the Carabao Cup was made, all eyes quickly went to the tie between Derby County and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
The match sees Chelsea’s all-time top goalscorer Lampard return to Stamford Bridge for the first time as a manager, aided by former Blues midfielder Jody Morris.
Lampard has already seen off a former friend in the competition, beating Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side on penalties at Old Trafford and has started managerial life off well winning 10 of his 18 matches in charge so far.
It will not be an easy task however, for the Rams to grab a second Premier League scalp given Chelsea’s impressive start to the season under Maurizio Sarri.