Who: Swindon Town FC vs. Chelsea FC
What: Capital One Cup—Round 3
Where: County Ground, Swindon, Wiltshire, England, UK
When: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Weather: The Weather Channel forecast
Time: 7:45 p.m. BST/2:45 p.m. EDT/11:45 a.m. PDT
TV: beIN Sport Play, beIN Sport USA (USA); Sky Sports 2/HD, Sky Go (UK)
Worldwide live streams and TV channels: LiveSoccerTV.com
Radio: BBC Radio Live (UK)
Referee: Michael Oliver
Odds: Swindon Town +700, Chelsea -250, Draw +350
Source: LVH SuperBook (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)
Total: 3u -110 (over -101)
Source: Pinnacle (Willemstad, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles)
Odds to win Capital One Cup: Chelsea 7/1, Swindon Town 500/1
Source: sportsbook.com (Curacao, Netherlands Antilles)
Defending champions: Swansea City (defeated Bradford City)
After a less than impressive win against Fulham on Saturday at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea heads to Swindon Town on Tuesday to play in a third-round game of the Capital One Cup in the Blues' first domestic cup action of the season.
Over the weekend in West London, the Europa League champions were extremely fortunate to come away with the three points in league play as Oscar and John Obi Mikel scored for the home team in a 2-0 hard-fought win.
In putting out his starting XI for the Cottagers game, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho received a fair amount of criticism for again omitting Juan Mata and David Luiz but said in an interview that the pair would definitely start here against Swindon Town, as reported by Jason Burt of the Daily Telegraph.
And Mourinho also said, in an interview on the CFC website, that those who didn’t play against Fulham would probably be starting against the Robins.
“The people who didn't play today are going to play. Juan [Mata] and David Luiz and Michael Essien, [Ryan] Bertrand and [Cesar] Azpilicueta,” the Chelsea manager said.
“And I hope he (Mata) tells me on the pitch, 'You are wrong, I am the best and I have to play every game.'"
If this is truly the case, then maybe the Blues starting XI will look a little something like this: Mark Schwarzer; Cesar Azpilicueta, Branislav Ivanovic, David Luiz, Ryan Bertrand; Michael Essien, Frank Lampard; Kevin De Bruyne, Juan Mata, Willian; Demba Ba.
Who knows? Anything is possible with Mourinho, as he has proved so far early in his return to SW6.
Even though this game is on the road and Chelsea (3-1-1 in EPL, six goals for, two goals against) has been looking extremely average its last three games, expect the Blues to dominate the time of possession here against the League One English side and put up at least three goals at County Ground.
This, combined with a number of fresh bodies wanting to prove their worth, does not bode well for the 11th-place Robins (3-2-3) and manager Mark Cooper, but expect third-tier side Swindon Town (3-1 at home, 11 goals for, four goals against) to strike the fear of Roman into the Premier League side for some time.
In League One, Ryan Mason (four goals)—on loan to the Robins from Tottenham Hotspur—Massimo Luongo (two goals) and Alex Pritchard (two assists) have led the charge offensively so far this young season, while goalkeeper Wesley Foderingham has helped hold down Swindon Town’s above-average defense.
With this being Chelsea’s first cup game, and with the Blues deep roster, expect the top-flight team to eventually roll to victory in the second half and gain a little confidence and get a little playing time for the players who have been slighted so far by the Stubborn One.
Playmaker Mata should shine and get at least an assist, much-maligned striker Ba should get a goal, Azpilicueta—who was so impressive last season—and De Bruyne will both be out to prove something to the boss and veteran 40-year-old Schwarzer is very capable of notching a clean sheet should he indeed be in goal.
So, this may end up being a team of players who haven’t necessarily played a lot so far this year, but it certainly won’t be a second-string Blues squad.
After this Capital One Cup contest, Chelsea’s schedule features a visit to White Hart Lane on Saturday (Sept. 28) in a London derby against Spurs (4-0-1) in Premier League play.
Prediction: Chelsea 3 Swindon Town 1
Bet: Chelsea -250
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