Who: Chelsea vs Manchester United
When: Wednesday, October 30th @ 1:05pm ET
Line: Chelsea -106 | Draw +240 | Manchester United +290
So the EFL Cup (ie Carabao Cup) is back later this week! Yay! (said no one ever). Well the silver lining is that there are some big games in store. With apologies to Liverpool vs Arsenal, the biggest of the bunch is Chelsea hosting Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
United were somewhat lucky to pick up a dominant 4-0 thrashing of the Blues in their opening Premier League match. Frank Lampard must be hell-bent on revenge. As this is the EFL Cup and not something of prime importance, it’s inevitable that both teams will be making changes to give their best players some rest before the next set of league fixtures.
That being said, Lampard won’t be holding back and will throttle his side forward to get one over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. OGS’ side have finally reformed their away form with two wins on the road. They’ll be looking to maintain their momentum by ending Chelsea’s winning streak. This should be an entertaining bout.
Chelsea Likely XI
Kepa, James, Guehi, Tomori, Emerson, Kovacic, Jorginho, Gilmour, Hudson-Odoi, Willian, Batshuayi
Chelsea are plagued with a host of injuries, with N’Golo Kante, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Ross Barkley & Ruben Loftus-Cheek all out of contention. Lampard will surely rotate his side, with many young prodigies being in contention to start.
Manchester United Likely XI
Romero, Wan-Bissaka, Jones, Maguire, Rojo, Williams, Garner, McTominay, Mata, Rashford, Greenwood.
OGS was rocked with the news that Paul Pogba won’t be back before December. Luke Shaw remains on the sidelines, as does Diogo Dalot, Axel Tuanzebe, Nemanja Matic & Eric Bailly. Expect some of the academy lads & substitutes against Norwich City to start.
Chelsea vs Manchester United Match Preview
United have regained their momentum on the road after a frisky start to the season, with the Norwich win definitely giving them a boost in confidence with many trips lined up ahead. While the EFL Cup isn’t a priority, OGS wouldn’t mind lifting the trophy in March.
Marcus Rashford & Anthony Martial are working their magic by linking beautifully. However, OGS probably won’t risk Martial with his injury-prone manner. Mason Greenwood should get a crack at further establishing his role, as the cunning goal-scorer can introduce himself in style by putting goals past a young Chelsea backline.
Young James Garner & Brandon Williams should get opportunities to shine, especially after the latter gained high praises for his impressive work at Partizan Belgrade. OGS could also go with a 5-man defence to counter Chelsea’s attacking intensity and deny a humiliation.
But United would be more than happy to let the hosts dictate proceedings & hit them on the counter-attack with Rashford & Daniel James’ electric pace. The Welsh winger’s putting in marvelous crosses from the right. He’ll threaten once again with his buzzing attitude.
Chelsea, however, are on an unstoppable roll themselves. After shocking Ajax by ending their undefeated streak this season, Christian Pulisic’s brilliance further showed in the 4-2 win over Burnley at the weekend.
While Christian Pulisic, Tammy Abraham & Mason Mount could all be rested after grueling fixtures, Lampard’s side still has enough firepower to burn any side. With the fans behind them, it’ll be perfect opportunities for the likes of Michy Batshuayi, Reece James, Emerson & Billy Gilmour to amplify their reputations.
The Blues are playing with a swagger thanks to the fast-paced, swift-passing style Lampard’s brought on board. While their defensive vulnerabilities remain a cause for concern, Chelsea ends up scoring many to make up for their defenders’ inexperience.
They’ll try to hit the Red Devils with full force as the players haven’t forgotten the embarrassment at Old Trafford. United might be defensively strong, but need to weather the storm to stop the unrelenting attacking force that Chelsea churns out on them to try and get into the next round of the EFL Cup, which could be a nice trophy addition for Lampard.
I think this should be a 1-1 draw at normal time. Chelsea will win it in penalties to knock United out, moving into the next round.
Where to bet Carabao Cup in the US
In the US, you can legally bet on soccer in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.