After disposing of Middlesbrough, Barnsley travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea for a place in the Fourth Round of the League Cup on Wednesday.
Although the general rule of thumb ought to dictate that the league placings are ignored until three matches have been played, The Tykes are currently fifth from bottom of the Championship having played twice and suffering defeat on both occasions.
The last time Chelsea faced Barnsley in a cup match was when Avram Grant was the manager and took his side to Oakwell for a chance to reach the FA Cup Semi-Final in 2008.
Although on paper Chelsea should have beaten the South Yorkshire side without a problem, in the true tradition of the FA Cup, the Londoners found themselves on the wrong end of a 1-0 score-line.
Following Sunday’s defeat, Frank Lampard will be looking for his players to put the Liverpool game out of their minds and concentrate on the matches to come.
It’s sad for Kepa Arrizabalaga that his confidence keeps getting knocked but due to this competition being the fourth priority of the season, I feel that it’s a certainty that Willy Caballero will start between the sticks and would have done whatever happened on Sunday.
That said, competing and eventually winning this trophy would be great for Frank Lampard, Chelsea and the supporters.
The Stamford Bridge faithful never belittle the three domestic trophies and seeing their side’s name on any silverware is always a fillip.
The Chelsea manager will probably give some of his, so far unused squad players, a run-out but, with the injury list already quite extensive, he might still find his options limited.
Whilst my record for predicting the outcome of Chelsea matches is notoriously poor, I will nevertheless be placing my bet on a 3-0 win for the Blues – which is currently available at 6.40*
Those of you who agree and even those who fancy another result can have a bet via our betting partners FansBet here.
About the Author
Londoner David Johnstone is a home, away and European away Chelsea supporter and has missed just six matches since 2001 (although he’s quick to state there are plenty of other supporters with better attendance records than him).
He has been involved with the fanzine scene at Chelsea since around 1991 and started the ‘cfcuk’ fanzine in 1999 which was, until Mr Abramovich bought the club in 2003, named ‘Matthew Harding’s Blue And White Army’.
David was also responsible for forming both the Chelsea Supporters’ Group and the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust which are the main two bodies that represent the followers of Chelsea FC and take their concerns to those running the club.
A founder of the highly regarded Chelsea FanCast weekly podcast (but is no longer involved) and responsible for the crowd surfing banners and supporter displays that are seen in the Matthew Harding Stand at Stamford Bridge on matchdays.
*Odds subject to change
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