|Chelsea 1 v 1 Southampton|
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.
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When Saturday Comes #16 by wessex_exile
When Saturday Comes, and this time instead of an international break we played yesterday evening, and now have the luxury of sitting back and seeing what’s going to happen around us in the league table. A gritty display last night saw the U’s fight back from a being a goal down, with Freddy netting his 8th of the season, helped in no small measure by an inch-perfect through ball from Alan Judge. Whisper it, but with (at least) 30 competitive matches to go to the end of the season, Freddy’s average of 0.4 goals per game would actually see him reach that mythical ’20 goals per season’ figure – not bad for an Ipswich reject 😊.
When Saturday Comes #15 by wessex_exile
When Saturday Comes, and finally the U’s return to the league programme after what seems an age as a result of our international break. The Forest Green match has been rearranged for 21st December, the last Tuesday before Xmas, and it will no doubt be a chilly night on top of the hill overlooking Nailsworth. Originally billed as a 7pm kick-off, it seems to have been pushed back to 7.45pm now – better make sure before I set off on the short drive for that one. Talking of short drives, bravo to our U18s winning 2-0 at Swindon in the FA Youth Cup midweek, to set up a mouth-watering home tie against Arsenal in the 3rd Round.
When Saturday Comes #14 by wessex_exile
This week, When Saturday Comes the U’s find themselves on an international break and a weekend off for the WAGs to get in some Christmas shopping. Just as well too, given the U’s have inconsiderately eased past AFC Sudbury to deny them the customary FA Cup Second Round break in December to do likewise. We wait to hear who our opponent will be at the JobServe – it’ll be either top of League One Wigan Athletic or Cameron Coxe’s National League parent club Solihull Moors, who replay at Damson Park on Tuesday evening. Incidentally, Solihull Moors may be part of history being made today, with their match at Meadow Lane already expected to easily top 10,000, and may break the record attendance for that league, which currently stands at 11,083 when Bristol Rovers faced Alfreton Town in 2015.
When Saturday Comes #13 by wessex_exile
When Saturday Comes…will we still be in the FA Cup? I heard somewhere during the week that the U’s have been eliminated from the FA Cup by non-league opposition more times than any other league club! Remarkable really when you consider that many non-U’s associate Colchester United with the greatest FA Cup giant-killing of all time. Following tonight, we travel to Portman Road on Tuesday night to see if we can stay in the Pizza Slice Trophy. Regardless that it is a much-maligned competition these days, surely that’s motivation enough for our tractor boy contingent?
When Saturday Comes #12 by wessex_exile
A relegation six-pointer already, seriously! Grim news so early in a season which had such promise, but that may well turn out to be the reality when the dust settles in May. On the eve of All-Hallows Eve, I’m wondering whether the U’s will have served up Trick or Treat by 5pm this afternoon. Plenty has been written over the last week by supporters, the press, even the Chairman about the protests during and after the Sutton United rocky horror football show, and whilst everyone has the right to voice their opinion on the club’s fortunes on and off the pitch, that doesn’t give anyone (even the Chairman) the right to be abusive – it’s not big, it’s not clever, and if anything it undermines the validity of that opinion.
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