Three Chelsea players Pochettino should start in EFL Cup against Blackburn

Three Chelsea players Pochettino should start in EFL Cup against Blackburn

The good news following a humiliating fall at home this past weekend is the chance to recover just a few days later in the middle of the week. Chelsea Football Club will face Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League for the first time since May 2012. This time, it's a chance to go to the EFL Cup quarterfinals.


While the third round draw did not favour the west Londoners by awarding them a Premier League team, the football gods made up for it. Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham Hotspur are one of three top-flight teams facing Championship opponents. After being knocked out by Manchester City in the third round of the competition last season, the Blues are looking to make amends.

From the outside, it may appear to be a straightforward struggle in favour of Poch's men. Consider again. Blackburn has scored four or more goals in each round up to this far, including a 5-2 thrashing of fellow Championship side Cardiff City. Jon Dahl Tomasson's squad is coming off a 1-0 home defeat to Swansea City, in which the Riversiders generated more chances.

This is a game and a competition in which the west London club has the potential to gain momentum.

1. Benoit Badiashile


Following a hamstring injury, French central defender Benoit Badiashile has returned to the team for the last two Premier League games. Despite fans' hopes that his first chance of the season would come against Brentford, the Blues' No. 4 has yet to appear since the new Argentine manager was installed.

Out of all the January acquisitions, it has to be argued that Badiashile was the best value. As a right-sided centre back, his soothing presence will be a welcome sight. He is rock solid on set-pieces, an area where Blackburn will look to exploit the west London side, with possession for the away team likely to be limited.

2. Djordje Petrovic

Most of Sanchez's criticism remains unjustified. He shone brightly at times, but at the end of the day, the west Londoners need to realise what they have in the Serbian. Instead of throwing him into the fire, playing him in a competition outside of the English top division is the ideal way to ease him in.

Maybe Petrovic can save ownership some money by becoming the club's No. 1? That's a big "what if." It's not like he can't do it. The 24-year-old had success in another top-flight league on the other side of the Atlantic. Ride the wave if the former New England No. 99 does well. Who knows, but there is a chance that these

3. Mykhailo Mudryk

Given his recent form, the absence of Ukrainian international Mykhailo Mudryk from Chelsea's roster against the Bees was devastating. Mudryk and Enzo Fernández have not been ruled out of today's match as of the time of writing.

On Saturday afternoon, the Blues were lacking a spark. With a quarterfinal position on the line, Mudryk should play if his muscular issue heals in time. It's prudent not to jeopardize either of them, especially given their importance to the team. With the phrases "not big" being bandied around, there should be no excuse for the winger not to play. In his last three games, the Ukrainian scored twice on the same number of shots on target.

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