By James Kinsella

Probably the pick of the third round in the early stages of this year’s EFL Cup. It would usually be Chelsea entering the competition at this later stage due to European commitments but Leicester take that privilege this year and it will be interesting to see how Claudio Ranieri juggles his squad to prioritise the competitions.

Here are five talking points ahead of the clash:

1) Riyad Mahrez, who missed the fatal penalty that brought the end to Leicester’s involvement in this competition, is unlikely to get a chance to make up for it this year. The current PFA Player of the Year is likely to be rested along with Jamie Vardy, Danny Drinkwater, Marc Albrighton and Christian Fuchs.

2) Claudio Ranieri will be hoping to improve on Leicester’s recent record in this competition, having not got past the fifth round since they last won it in 2000. However, the Italian trainer is still likely to risk a lot of changes so he can try to ensure progression through the Champions League and towards the top four in the Premier League.

3) Antonio Conte himself is likely to make several changes to keep the balance of his squad right. Chelsea have a good modern-day record in this cup last bringing home the trophy in 2015 for the third time this century. Although they left the competition alongside Leicester last year as they went out on penalties on the same night with Eden Hazard missing the vital kick and, again, he is unlikely to be given the chance to make up for it in this game.

4) John Terry is still injured and Chelsea are short of options at centre-back but, like Leicester, are likely to make several changes elsewhere. Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and Michy Batshuayi in particular will be looking to take their chance to try and get some more game time in the league.

5) Marcos Alonso could make his debut after being a surprise signing shortly before the transfer window closed. David Luiz’s resigning was also somewhat of a shock and he is likely to keep his place.


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