Mauricio Pochettino has made four changes to his Chelsea team to take on Blackburn Rovers in the Carabao Cup this evening, including the return of skipper Reece James to the starting line-up and Benoit Badiashile’s first appearance of the season.
Chelsea captain Reece James is back in the starting line-up for the first time since going off injured in our opening game of this season, against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in August, having come off the bench in our last two matches.
Alongside him in the back line, Benoit Badiashile ends an even longer absence, having been an unused substitute in our last two fixtures. He last took to the pitch last season, against Nottingham Forest in May.
The rest of our defense is unchanged, with Axel Disasi partnering Badiashile and Marc Cucurella continuing at full-back. In midfield, Enzo Fernandez returns after missing the weekend defeat to Brentford, while Lesley Ugochukwu comes in for Moises Caicedo, and Conor Gallagher retains his place.
Raheem Sterling and Cole Palmer look set to flank Nicolas Jackson in a front three, but there is a new face among the substitutes, as teenage midfielder Leo Castledine is involved in the senior squad for the first time.
Our opponents Blackburn Rovers have made six changes to their side following the Championship defeat to Swansea City at the weekend, with their own captain Lewis Travis returning, while Jake Garrett, Harry Leonard, Dilan Markanday, Andrew Moran and Adam Wharton also come into their team .
Chelsea: Sanchez, James (c), Disasi, Badiashile, Cucurella, Gallagher, Ugochukwu, Enzo, Palmer, Jackson, Sterling
Substitutes: Petrovic, Colwill, Gusto, Maatsen, Caicedo, Castledine, Matos, Madueke, Washington
Blackburn Rovers: Wahlstedt, Brittain, Carter, Hill, Pickering, A. Wharton, Travis (c), Garrett, Markanday, Moran, Leonard
Substitutes: Hilton, S. Wharton, Gamble, Batty, Rankin-Costello, Tronstad, Sigurdsson, Dolan, Ennis