The Blues are tonight in Carabao Cup action, entering the second round for the first time since 2016, as they face The Dons for the first time since their founding in 2002. It is an historic London derby and one which should see a number of young Chelsea stars looking to make an impression. Mauricio Pochettino famously dismissed this competition as important while in charge at Tottenham, but reversed that view in the build-up to this fixtures.
Diego Moreira, Ian Maatsen, Lesley Ugochukwu, Bashir Humphreys and Noni Madueke should all feature, and outcast Marc Cucurella was expected to be involved but is now in talks over a loan move to Manchester United. Wimbledon will be without captain Jake Reeves and midfield partner Armani Little as they look to continue their unbeaten start to the season.
Wimbledon have a tall order tonight but already claimed a Coventry City’s scalp in the first round – is another cupset on the cards? Follow the game LIVE below with our dedicated match blog, featuring expert insight and analysis from Nizaar Kinsella at Stamford Bridge.
13min: Gallagher does well to dart into the area, looks up and tries to spot Burstow into the area but his cut back was wayward.
10min: Jackson will be happy with how his team have started tonight so far. Composed and calm.
6min: A slow start to the game but Ugochukwu is showing off great passing range.
3min: An early sighter for Chelsea as Moreira is sent scampering into the area but Colwill, but can’t quite get the ball under control.
1min: Here we go!
Nizaar Kinsella at Stamford Bridge
It’s a bit of a surprise there is not more youth on the bench for Chelsea today. Mauricio Pochettino has the likes of Michael Golding with his squad but has just Ishe Samuels-Smith on the bench.
Expect Ian Maatsen will be the no10 today. He makes his first start. Lesley Ugochukwu also makes his first start. Diego Moreira makes his full debut for Chelsea. Conor Gallagher captains the team for the first time.
Right, almost time. Here come the teams.
Cucurella’s swan song?
It’s also interesting that Marc Cucurella starts tonight, even though it was expected.
Chelsea have accepted a loan bid from Manchester United for him, so to risk him in a game which the Blues should have no problem winning without him appears an unnecessary risk.
A penny for Erik ten Hag’s thoughts.
Poch programme notes
Mauricio Pochettino has outlined his thoughts on tonight, his team selection and the Carabao Cup in his programme notes.
He wrote: “With three home games in eight days, this period is a chance for us to build some momentum and to keep developing the connection we have with all of you in the stands at Stamford Bridge.
“It’s also the beginning of another competition, a cup that we go into wanting to win, like all the others, but with the understanding that we must take it one game at a time.
“With so many fixtures in quick succession, we have to use the squad carefully and it is an opportunity for us to make the most of the strength in depth that we have here.”
Nizaar on the squad
Nizaar Kinsella has plenty of thoughts on the Chelsea XI and subs bench.
Have a watch.