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Chelsea 1 v 1 Southampton
Carabao Cup
Tuesday, 26th October 2021 Kick-off 19:45
Southampton At Chelsea The Carabao Cup Preview
Tuesday, 26th Oct 2021 13:11

Saints travel to Stamford Bridge for the second time in four weeks looking to avenge the 3-1 defeat in controversial circumstances earlier this month, Ralph Hasenhuttl has said he wants to win the game, but he will have to make changes.

Saints make the short trip to Stamford Bridge this evening hoping that the Blues will be putting out a weakened side and that it will offer us a chance to sneak a win and give us something to chase this season.

But although Ralph Hasenhuttl has said he will put out a side to win the game he will have to make some enforced changes, firstly Armando Broja is unable to play against his parent club, although even if he was able to he would probably have been rested after going off with a knock on Saturday and Moi Elyounoussi has had a small operation on his thumb and will miss out although he is likely to be back in contention for the trip to Watford at the weekend.

But the real dilemma for Ralph is who to play at the back, with Jack Stephens injured his options have become limited and he would perhaps be keen to rest at least one, perhaps both of Jan Bednarek & Mohammed Salisu.

That suggests that Lyanco will come in for only his second appearance for the club, the first being the penalty shoot out win at Sheffield United, although the Brazilian has plenty of experience in Serie A he has yet to make a Premier League appearance.

But who will partner him, it would be a tall ask to pair him with Yan Valery whom Ralph has suggested might be converted to a central defender after impressing in that role during training games.

I would be surprised if that was the pairing and my bet would be Lyanco and Bednarek.

The other question is the full back spots, Ralph has plenty of options but again will be keen to avoid burning out Tino Livramento, I think the ex Chelsea player might be rested with the trio of KWP, Romain Perraud & Yan Valery vying for the two spaces, I just have a feeling that Valery might play right and Kyle Walker Peters on the left.

The midfield will also see changes I suspect that we may revert for 4-4-2 with this one with Che Adams & Adam Armstrong up front, but in midfield there will be changes, in the centre Ralph will be without James Ward Prowse again for the final game of his three match suspension, so i suspect he will keep the middle pairing of Oriol Romeu & Ibrahima Diallo, out wide I think Moussa Djenepo will start on one side and Stuart Armstrong on the other, although Ralph might want to play him off the bench ahead of stepping up to a full 90 minute game on Saturday.

This will still leave a fairly strong bench with the likes of Tino Livramento, Nathan Redmond, Theo Walcott, Nathan Tella and those who have missed out in other areas.

It could well be a winnable game and one that would see us take a big step nearer to a Wembley final, that would normally excite me and this would be the time I would say this is our best chance of getting into Europe, but is it ?

It used to be but although the big teams play weakened sides in the early stages as each round progresses they tend to strengthen the team.

The last 8 League Cup Finals have seen Manchester City win it 6 times, Chelsea once and of course Manchester United when they beat us 3-2 in 2017.

Indeed since 2001 the competition has been dominated by the former big 6, City have won in 6 times, Manchester United 4 times, Liverpool 3 times, Chelsea 3 times and Spurs just the once, Arsenal have failed to do so since 1993.

That leaves just four finals out of 21 that have not been won by big clubs, Blackburn in 2002, Middlesbrough in 2004, Birmingham in 2011 and Swansea in 2013.

The Swansea final being the only one out of the last 10 to go outside the Big Four of City, United, Liverpool & Chelsea.

So it is becoming a little bit of a myth that the best chance of getting a trophy or getting into Europe is through the League cup, it has become a closed shop, in fact in the same 10 year period, the FA Cup has been won by Wigan, Arsenal & Leicester, none of whom are in the Big Four these days.

Photo: Action Images

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beynali73 added 14:45 - Oct 26
This should be one of the games where the tinkerman will be like Syd Barret in Amsterdam. Lets see what rabbits he pulls out for ths one. Big Frasier up front would be an exciting proposition and certainly fits with his thinking outside of the asylum selection process.

KriSaint added 15:53 - Oct 26

I suggest:

S Armstrong
A Armstrong

COYS! <3

underweststand added 16:24 - Oct 26
If Ralph's idea to have two players for every position is to work, this is an opportunity to give a run-out to the "second-choice " players who according to logic... should be "a good as"
the normal Prem. first choic-ers together with a balance of the "regulars".

Looking at Kri Saint's prediction (above) it's as any, but I'd like to see if Ralph will venture in with any of the up-and-coming B team lads.

Boris1977 added 21:51 - Oct 26

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