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League Cup Preview: Chelsea - Bolton Wanderers

By Chris Myson

Kick-Off: Wednesday, October 28, 19:45.
Stamford Bridge, London.

The League Cup has been a kind competition to Chelsea in recent years, with the Blues winning it twice and finishing as runners-up once inside the last five seasons.

Bolton Wanderers, on the other hand, have never won the competition, though they were beaten finalists in 1995 and 2004. They needed extra-time to battle past West Ham United in the third round, so would have been disappointed to find themselves up against the Blues - who progressed by beating Championship side QPR – as a reward for their efforts.

With the game taking place at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea go in as heavy favourites. As ever, it remains to be seen just how many changes will be made by managers Carlo Ancelotti and Gary Megson, although both fielded reasonably strong sides last time around.

The two sides will meet again on Saturday, this time at the Reebok Stadium, as they do battle for Premier League points. On Wednesday, a League Cup quarter-final place lies in wait for the victorious team.

FORM GUIDE

Chelsea

Chelsea 5-0 Blackburn Rovers
Chelsea 4-0 Atletico Madrid (Champions League)
Aston Villa 2-1 Chelsea
Chelsea 2-0 Liverpool
APOEL 0-1 Chelsea (Champions League)

Bolton

Bolton 3-2 Everton
Man Utd 2-1 Bolton
Bolton 2-2 Tottenham
Birmingham 1-2 Bolton
Bolton 3-1 West Ham (League Cup)

TEAM NEWS

Chelsea

Alex, Daniel Sturridge and Fabio Borini are amongst the players in with a chance of starting Wednesday's match.

Carlo Ancelotti is expected to make a few changes, but his team selection in the last round against QPR was still strong.

Previous starting XI (home v Blackburn): Cech, Ivanovic, Carvalho, Terry, Belletti, Essien, Lampard, Ballack, Joe Cole, Drogba, Anelka.

Bolton

Johan Elmander (hamstring) is fit to make his first-team return, while Croatian Ivan Klasnic, who scored the winning goal against Everton in the Premier League on Sunday, is pushing to start the game alongside the Swede in attack.

Previous starting XI (home v Everton): Jaaskelainen, Samuel, Cahill, Knight, Ricketts, Muamba, Taylor, Gardner, Cohen, Lee, Davies.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Chelsea – Daniel Sturridge

Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that young striker Daniel Sturridge will be handed a rare opportunity to start, so the former Manchester City starlet will be eager to take his chance.

Bolton - Lee Chung-Yong

Lee Chung-Yong, who joined Bolton for just £2.2 million in the summer from FC Seoul, is fast becoming a favourite with the club’s fans. After scoring against Everton at the weekend, the 21-year-old goes into the game with confidence and will be looking to build on his fast start.

PREDICTION

Chelsea go in as strong favourites at Stamford Bridge, and Carlo Ancelotti will be confident of a win that would take him within three games of silverware.

Bolton’s main focus this season is on ensuring they retain Premier League status, although with the pressure off on Wednesday, they have nothing to lose.

For me this should be a comfortable enough win for the Blues.

Chelsea 2-0 Bolton Wanderers