The Third Round of the EFL Cup kicks off tonight, with eight ties taking place, followed by another eight tomorrow night.
In potentially the tie of the round, Claudio Ranieri’s Premier League champions Leicester welcome Antonio Conte’s Chelsea to the King Power Stadium.
The Foxes will again be without goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who was also absent from the weekend’s 3-0 win over Burnley. He suffered a concussion on Friday, and is still recovering. His place between the sticks will be taken by Ron-Robert Zieler.
Matty James and Nampalys Mendy are also unlikely to feature, both with ankle problems. But Jeff Schlupp is fit again after a muscle injury and could make his first competitive appearance of the season.
Chelsea will be missing John Terry and Kurt Zouma, so David Luiz is set to feature once again. Zouma has a anterior cruciate ligament injury, while tonight will just come too soon for the former England captain.
N’Golo Kante could play against his former side, after his summer switch to London. However, that depends on whether Conte decides to do a bit of squad rotation, which may mean starts for Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and Michy Batshuayi.
Ranieri is hoping the Foxes fans give Kante a warm reception. The Italian said: “I am very happy and I will give to him a very warm welcome back and I am sure also our fans they must appreciate what he did last season and give him a warm welcome.’
The two clubs have met on two previous occasions in the League Cup. In the 1965 League Cup final, Chelsea were victorious, winning 3-2 over two legs. They also met in October 2007, with Chelsea again emerging victorious, 4-3 at Stamford Bridge.
The stats seem to point in Chelsea’s favour. In their last eight League Cup home matches, Leicester have not kept a single clean sheet. The Foxes, though, have scored exactly two goals in seven of their last nine home games against Chelsea.
By Steve Osborne @BlizzardSteve75