Chelsea welcome Southampton to Stamford Bridge in Tuesday’s standout Fourth Round tie from 2021-22 Carabao Cup.
Chelsea enter this match looking to avoid a third consecutive exit at this stage of the competition, whereas Southampton are seeking to reach the Quarter-Finals for the first time in five seasons since they reached 2016-17 EFL Cup Final.
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N’Golo Kante is set to return for Chelsea after recovering from a muscle injury which forced him to sit out Saturday’s ruthless 7-0 Premier League victory over Norwich.
Christian Pulisic (ankle) is a doubt but Romelu Lukaku (ankle) and Timo Werner (hamstring) remain ruled out.
Southampton will be without Mohamed Elyounoussi after the forward needed surgery on a hand injury suffered during the recent international break for Norway, despite managing to play in Southampton’s last two matches.
Armando Broja (ineligible), James Ward-Prowse (suspension) and Jack Stephens (knee) remains absent.
- Chelsea are unbeaten in three previous League Cup ties against Southampton (W2, D1).
- Southampton have lost each of their two previous League Cup visits to Stamford Bridge by 2-1 results in October 1981 and November 1997.
- Chelsea have scored first in three of their last four home ties in this competition – excluding penalty shootouts (W2, D1, L1).
- Southampton have kept clean sheets in three of their last five away ties in this competition excluding penalty shootouts (W3, D1, L1).
- Chelsea have kept clean sheets in four of their last six home matches refereed by Kevin Friend in all competitions.
Having delivered a brutal performance on Saturday against Norwich, Chelsea come into this match with a real confidence about their play but with Pulisic unlikely to feature and Lukaku and Werner still out, I do expect changes up front in case those three don’t return before the international break.
Southampton meanwhile showed excellent team spirit to scrap their way to a 2-2 draw against Burnley on Saturday, with excellent pace but their finishing will need to improve here if they are to stand any chance as well as show more aerial awareness after two errors from high balls allowed Burnley to score.
On that note, I do expect a good contest because Southampton do have a spirit about them to make a proper fight of this game but Chelsea should have enough in them to win if they keep changes to a minimum.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Southampton