Chelsea will welcome an old friend and a legend of theirs in Frank Lampard when they host Derby County in the EFL Cup round of 16 tie on Wednesday.
Lampard played for Chelsea for over a decade during his illustrious career and it will be an emotional homecoming for the 40-year-old.
Chelsea will be aware that Derby knocked Manchester United out in the previous round and cannot afford to take the Rams lightly.
Chelsea team news
Chelsea’s assistant manager Gianfranco Zola confirmed that Eden Hazard will not be taking part against Derby this week.
Ethan Ampadu in back in training but he will take some to get match fit while both Olivier Giroud (fatigue) and Pedro will be assessed before the game.
Predicted Chelsea lineup vs Derby County
Kepa Arrizabalaga has not been tested as Chelsea have done well at the back. He should keep his place in goal.
Maurizio Sarri is expected to reshuffle his entire backline with Davide Zappacosta replacing Cesar Azpilicueta as the right-back while Emerson could play ahead of Marcos Alonso.
Gary Cahill could get some first-team action, partnering Andreas Christensen at the heart of the Chelsea defence. Both the defenders were tested against Liverpool in the last round and will look to impress once again.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been in splendid form of late and has scored four goals in his last two matches. He deserves to get a start, so we could see N’Golo Kante making way for the England international.
Loftus-Cheek could partner Cesc Fabregas and Mateo Kovacic in Chelsea’s three-man midfield.
Fabregas will take on the mantle of circulating the possession in midfield just like Jorginho while Kovacic will have a point to prove after Ross Barkley’s stunning performance against Burnley this past weekend.
In Hazard’s absence, Willian will once again get the chance to feature on the left flank. Victor Moses will be deployed on the opposite flank, ahead of Pedro, who is a doubt for the tie.
And finally, the Chelsea attack will be led by Alvaro Morata with Olivier Giroud down with fatigue.
Morata looked promising against Burnley and it will be interesting to see if he can keep that up against Derby.