The highly-rated Chelsea youngster is amongst the youngsters AVB will start against Fulham. Picture - Reuters.

After coming out with many positives despite a 3-1 defeat at Manchester United, Chelsea will face neighbors Fulham in the Carling Cup third round on Wednesday.

At United, wastefulness was Chelsea worst enemy as they squandered chance after chance, while the champions were clinical in their finishing. It cost the London side at least a point, although they'll take heart from an impressive performance.

However, it will be a much changed Chelsea side who will line up against Fulham on Wednesday. One of the club's main aims is to reduce the average age of the squad and the Carling Cup third round tie will be used to blood promising youngsters such as Josh McEachran, Ryan Bertrand, Romelu Lukaku and Oriol Romeu.

Andre Villas-Boas has impressed as Chelsea manager so far and although comparisons have been made with his former mentor and ex-Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, he is much more proactive in his philosophy of how football should be played.

On the other hand, Fulham considers any game against Chelsea as especially important, irrespective of what is at stake. Such is the nature of this London derby that it could be a thrilling all-Premiership clash.

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Chelsea are all set to play youngsters Josh McEachran, Romelu Lukaku, Oriol Romeu and Ryan Bertrand who will start along with the fit-again striker Didier Drogba.

Fulham are likely to rest Danny Murphy and Brede Hangeland, while defender Aaron Hughes is sidelined with a hamstring problem.


Although Andre Villas-Boas will send out a young side, it will be a quality young side who will be well aware that making an impression could see them land a place in the first team squad. Fulham, who are also likely to rest a few players, could have a game in their hands.