MX23RW : Thursday, September 26 16:24:11| >> :600:251508:251508:
Sep 25, 2019 at 7.45pm UK at ​Stamford Bridge
Grimsby Town
Barkley (4'), Batshuayi (7'), Pedro (43' pen.), Zouma (56')
FT(HT: 3-1)
Green (19')

Preview: Chelsea vs. Grimsby Town - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Sunday's Premier League fixture between Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Chelsea begin their 2019-20 EFL Cup campaign against Grimsby Town looking to take the first step towards reaching the final for the second successive season.

League Two outfit Grimsby earned their opportunity to play at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night having held their nerve against Macclesfield Town earlier this month.

Match preview

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard on August 31, 2019© Reuters

Having failed to win any of his first four home matches in charge of Chelsea, Frank Lampard has the ideal opportunity to break that streak with a game against opponents from the fourth tier.

While the club legend will not take a result for granted, he will expect his blossoming squad to win emphatically having suffered back-to-back defeats to Valencia and Liverpool.

The Blues showed in the latter of those contests that there remains a confidence among the players at the West Londoners, and Lampard has openly demanded that they start to turn performances into victories as soon as possible.

There will naturally be a priority placed on other competitions this season, although the EFL Cup is another pathway for the club's academy graduates to pick up more experience in the senior ranks.

Given the current competitiveness of the Premier League, Lampard will also view this competition as a way of earning European football next season, which will place pressure on his much-changed team on Wednesday.

Grimsby, on the other hand, will sense an opportunity to pull off a monumental shock away from the rigours of attempting to earn promotion from League Two.

While the Mariners have won just one of their last four league outings, they sit just two points off the playoffs in 10th position, having kept a clean sheet in yet another meeting with Macclesfield at the weekend.

The teams have now met three times this season, with their initial EFL Cup tie being abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch before Grimsby prevailed in a penalty shootout in the rearranged contest on September 10.

Facing a team of Chelsea's quality will ultimately prove a more difficult task, but manager Michael Jolley will be confident that striker Jamie Hanson can add to his five goals for the season against a team who are yet to keep a clean sheet this season.

Chelsea form: DWDWLL

Grimsby Town form: LLDDLW

Team News

Callum Hudson-Odoi in action for Chelsea on April 3, 2019© Reuters

Reece James could be handed his Chelsea debut at right-back after recovering from an ankle injury, but Callum Hudson-Odoi may only be named among the replacements after also coming through two second-string fixtures during his comeback from Achilles surgery.

Marc Guehi is also in line to make his Blues debut in the centre of defence, while Billy Gilmour and Ian Maatsen should also find themselves in the squad.

Ross Barkley, Pedro, Christian Pulisic, Michy Batshuayi and Olivier Giroud will all expect to start having been left out of the first XI at the weekend.

Antonio Rudiger and Emerson Palmieri are likely to miss out through injury, while Lampard will feel inclined to rest N'Golo Kante after the Frenchman completed 90 minutes in his comeback match against Liverpool.

As for Grimsby, Jolley could look to keep changes to a minimum, although Max Wright may be brought into the team in place of Ahkeem Rose.

Chelsea possible starting lineup: Caballero; James, Zouma, Guehi, Alonso; Gilmour, Kovacic, Barkley; Pedro, Batshuayi, Pulisic

Grimsby Town possible starting lineup: McKeown; Hewitt, Waterfall, Gibson, Hendrie; Cook, Hessenthaler, Robson; Wright, Green, Hanson

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We say: Chelsea 4-1 Grimsby Town

Despite the mass changes which Lampard will make to his team, we still expect the Blues to make light work of the League Two outfit. However, given Chelsea's problems with keeping a clean sheet, do not be surprised to see the minnows get on the scoresheet.

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Who will win Wednesday's EFL Cup tie between Chelsea and Grimsby Town?

Grimsby Town
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Mason Mount in action for Chelsea on August 31, 2019
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