Chelsea are in Carabao Cup action on Wednesday night when they face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, and Graham Potter has several selection decisions to make.
Their 2022-23 Carabao Cup campaign begins in midweek and it doesn’t get harder than facing the current Premier League champions, Manchester City.
Chelsea head up north for the third round tie in Manchester and will be hoping to get back on the winning trail to progress into round four after a 1-0 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday in the Premier League.
"We have to go to Man City and be competitive because they will be, to win the game, be as strong as we can,” said Potter ahead of the game.
“We will do our best, prepare the team. We have to go to try to win the game."
With one game left to play after this against Newcastle United before the World Cup break, Potter will have several decisions to make over whether to rest key players for the trip to St. James’ Park this weekend.
Predicted Chelsea XI to face Man City: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Koulibaly, Cucurella, Zakaria, Kovacic, Loftus-Cheek, Pulisic, Broja, Sterling
Kepa Arrizabalaga remains out injured, so Edouard Mendy is set to start in goal.
“Still unavailable (Kepa)," confirmed Potter. "We’ll see (if available for the World Cup). He’s got to take it day by day.
"It’s a tear in his plantar fascia. It’s how he responds to pain, how comfortable he feels. At the moment, not so positive."
Thiago Silva could be handed a rest ahead of this weekend, which could see Kalidou Koulibaly and Trevoh Chalobah pair up in defence, with Cesar Azpilicueta and Marc Cucurella occupying the full-back roles.
Jorginho is a doubt with a minor foot problem which could see Denis Zakaria be given another start following his impressive, goal-scoring debut against Dinamo Zagreb last week.
"Jorginho has a slight problem with his foot, doubtful for (Wednesday)," revealed Potter.
Conor Gallagher, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech and Armando Broja will all be pushing for starts ahead of the World Cup break.
Raheem Sterling returns to his former side who he departed in the summer and will be looking to make an impact to help Chelsea clinch a spot in the fourth round.
Youngsters Eddie Beach, Bashir Humphreys, Lewis Hall and Omari Hutchinson have all travelled with the squad and will be eager for some minutes at the Etihad.
"(Hutchinson's) in the squad, Lewis Hall is in the squad," Potter admitted. "They've impressed. We've got some good quality young players. They'll be in the squad and involved."
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