Chelsea, Utd to shuffle packs

2012-10-30 21:49
Roberto Di Matteo (AP)

London - Chelsea and Manchester United will ring the changes on Wednesday when they clash at Stamford Bridge for the second time in three days, in the last 16 of the League Cup.

The Londoners, beaten 3-2 by United in a stormy English Premier League game on Sunday, are severely depleted by injury and suspension.

Captain John Terry serves the third game of his four-match ban for racially insulting Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand while midfielder Frank Lampard (calf injury) and left back Ashley Cole (ankle) are also missing.

The trio are joined on the sidelines by striker Fernando Torres and defender Branislav Ivanovic who are suspended after being sent off on Sunday.

"This is our fourth game in 10 days and they have all been big games so we are looking to freshen the team up a little bit for sure and also put a couple of youngsters in," manager Roberto Di Matteo told the club's website (

"We always talk about developing and giving youngsters a chance so this type of game is a good opportunity for some of them."

Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta is expected to replace Ivanovic while Daniel Sturridge will lead the line in the absence of Torres.

There could also be recalls for Marko Marin, Oriol Romeu, Ryan Bertrand, Victor Moses, Ross Turnbull and Lucas Piazon.

United manager Alex Ferguson is likely to name a similar team to the one that beat Newcastle United 2-1 in the previous round.

Wayne Rooney played in that match but may be rested on Wednesday along with Robin van Persie and Rio Ferdinand.

Youngsters Michael Keane, Marnick Vermijl and Scott Wootton all started against Newcastle and could be in line for a return to the first team.

"We will make changes," Ferguson told United's television station. "The squad that played against Newcastle will be in place again.

"We want to continue in the cup. They are big games and big games are good for us."

Ferguson is again without the injured Shinji Kagawa, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic.

Controversy is still raging from Sunday's match after Javier Hernandez scored the winning goal from an offside position.

Chelsea have also lodged a formal complaint that referee Mark Clattenburg used "inappropriate language" towards two of their players.

Norwich City host Tottenham Hotspur and Swansea City travel to holders Liverpool in Wednesday's other League Cup ties.

Read more on:    league cup  |  chelsea  |  manchester united  |  soccer

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