Nigerian duo John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses have left to compete in the African Cup of Nations, whilst John Terry and Oriol Romeu remain sidelined.
As for the opposition, their only absentee is Neil Taylor, who has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a fractured ankle. Angel Rangel is available after returning to fitness following a calf injury.
The league cup may not be the most prestigious piece of silverware on offer but it’s still a trophy worth winning and represents our best opportunity of picking up honours this season, so it isn’t an opportunity to be passed up.
C. Azpilicueta – G. Cahill – B. Ivanovic – A. Cole
Ramires – F. Lampard (c)
Oscar – J. Mata – E. Hazard
If Rafael Benitez is going to continue his policy of rotation and Demba Ba is to either play tomorrow night or at the weekend against Stoke, I’d much rather he started the latter as I believe he’d handle the physical presence of Robert Huth and Ryan Shawcross much better than the Spaniard could.
I’d also pair Ramires with Frank Lampard in midfield whilst giving David Luiz a rest, especially as he put in a terrible performance against Southampton at the weekend. I would also like to see the likes of Lucas Piazon and use Marko Marin to give one of the lads a breather if the match is going well.