Chelsea will look to build off some recent Chelsea successes on Wednesday when they meet League One’s Walsall in the third round of the Capital One Cup at Bescot Stadium.
Chelsea collected only four points in their first five Premier League matches, but have put forth strong efforts in recent matches at Stamford Bridge. Jose Mourinho's squad defeated Maccabi Tel-Aviv in Champions League 4-1 last Wednesday and on Saturday blanked local rival Arsenal, 2-0.
However, as they defend their Capital One title, injuries and a key suspension could spell trouble for the Blues. Mourinho will miss striker Diego Costa for the first of three games following the Spaniard’s altercation with Arsenal center back Laurent Koscielny.
Radamel Falcao is expected to fill in for Costa, but Chelsea must all find a solution for the absence of midfielder Willian for the second straight game due to a muscle injury. Mourinho will likely turn to Oscar or Pedro, with Ramires and John Obi Mikel also available.
Blues supporters should also expect the return of veteran defender John Terry, who was benched for the last two games following the harrowing 3-1 loss to Everton that forced everyone to hit the panic button.
Meanwhile, Walsall and manager Dean Smith enter the tournament’s third round for the first time since 2002-2003, and Chelsea’s eliminated them all three times they’ve met.
But the heavy underdog Saddlers are looking strong out of the gate. The West Midlands club maintain second place on the League One table and have fired off 14 goals in their first eight matches, with striker Tom Bradshaw netting seven and midfielder Romaine Sawyers firing off five.
Walsall is also led by veteran captain Adam Chambers. The 34-year-old has been with the club since 2011 and has made 115 appearances for the club.
Smith will be without midfielder Isaiah Osbourne. The former Blackpool star is out due to a knee injury, and has yet to feature after arriving from Scunthorpe United on Sept. 3.
Kickoff Time: 2:45 p.m. ET
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