As the Capital One cup reaches the third round stage the Premier League big boys now enter the competition and one club hoping not to slip up will be Chelsea who travel to face League One side Swindon Town. Here I will preview the game and look at team news, likely starting line-ups as well as giving my prediction for the outcome of the match.
After beating Liverpool to claim his first piece of silverware as Chelsea manager back in 2005, Jose Mourinho will be hoping for further success in the competition as he takes his side to face Mark Cooper's Swindon. Saturday's 2-0 win over Fulham was a light relief for the club after suffering back to back defeats against both Everton in the league and FC Basel in the Champions League and was their first win in five. Mourinho will be using tonight's game to give his squad members a go to try and prove their merit and work their way into the regular first team squad. One player in particular hoping to impress will be midfielder Juan Mata who has been told by this manager that he needs to change his game and prove he deserves a starting spot. It may come as a surprise to many Chelsea supporters that Mata is not one of the first names on the team sheet after being voted their player of the year for the past two seasons but Jose has his own ideas and feels that Oscar is his perfect number 10 so the Spaniard must adapt to another role in order to get a game. David Luiz, who's three appearances this season have all ended in defeat for the Blues, will return to the side and after Mourinho confirmed that players who did not feature in the win over Fulham will take part in tonight's game, Cesar Azpilicueta, Ryan Bertrand and Michael Essien are also expected to start. Chelsea, who also won the competition under Mourinho in 2007, start the season as the bookmakers favourites and the Portuguese manager will be hoping to repeat the feat of his first by starting his second spell with League Cup success.
Third tier Swindon will be hoping for history to repeat itself after their only League Cup meeting with Chelsea ended with a 3-0 win to the Robins back in 1963. On that occasion Division Two team Swindon easily disposed of a Chelsea side that featured the likes of Peter Bonetti, Ron Harris, Bobby Tampling and John Hollins, who at 17-years-old, was making the first of his 592 appearances for the club. Swindon currently lie mid-table in League One having picked up 11 points from their eight matches this term. They are unbeaten in their four home league matches having beaten Bristol City, Crewe and Stevenage and picked up a point against Gillingham. In order to reach this stage they have already disposed of Torquay in round one with a 1-0 win and claimed an impressive 2-0 victory at Championship leaders Queens Park Rangers in the previous round. Swindon may again be without midfielders Ryan Mason and Ryan Harley who have problems with their thigh and knees respectively. Nathan Byrne completes the third and final game of his suspension although Alex Pritchard does return to the side after serving his one-match ban. Pritchard is one of six Tottenham academy graduates to have joined the Robins this summer who along with Mason and Grant Hall are on loan whilst Byrne, Massimo Luongo and Jack Barthram all joined on a permanent basis.
Even if Chelsea do make 11 changes from the team that beat Fulham on Saturday there is still quality throughout and just goes to show the depth of talent that Jose Mourinho has at his disposal. The County Ground will be full to capacity and should be rocking with the home supporters hoping for another famous giant killing but I just feel that with the likes of Mata, Willian and Torres on show for the Premier League side it should be a comfortable victory for the visitors. So my prediction is a 2-0 win for Chelsea. Source - BBC Sport