Chelsea will be hoping to secure a safe passage to the next round of the EFL Cup on Tuesday night when they face Bristol Rovers with Antonio Conte looking for three wins in three games.
The Italian tactician has already picked up two victories from his first two Premier League games in charge with Diego Costa popping up with late winning goals against West Ham United and Watford respectively, and Conte will certainly look to enjoy a cup run this year in addition.
While the Blues have won this competition five times, it’s the first time they’ve entered at this early stage in almost 20 years following on from their 10th-placed finish last season.
In contrast, Rovers won promotion to League One last year, and made it to this stage after a 1-0 extra-time win over Cardiff City in the first round.
Conte is expected to make several changes to his line-up, although there will be a number of familiar faces as the 47-year-old simply doesn’t have the depth to rotate too much in certain positions.
Chelsea will be without John Obi Mikel, but Michy Batshuayi and Cesc Fabregas could be handed spots in the starting line-up. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Nathaniel Chalobah could line up alongside them, but it remains to be seen how much Conte really wants to shuffle things around.
Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante are amongst those that are expected to be rested, but it still leaves a strong XI to face Rovers as the Premier League giants will want to avoid an early upset and continue to build momentum.
Predicted Chelsea XI: Begovic; Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Aina; Chalobah, Fabregas, Loftus-Cheek; Moses, Batshuayi, Pedro.
Predicted Bristol Rovers XI: Mildenhall; Leadbitter, Clarke, Lockyer, Hartley, Brown; Clarke, Lines, Sinclair, Taylor, Harrison.