Some would say the EFL Cup should not be a priority given the start to the season we’ve had in the Premier League.
However, after back-to-back wins and three games unbeaten, we’re no longer desperate to pick up some form in the league. This is why it’s no surprise to hear Slaven Bilic bang on about the strong side he plans to play against Chelsea and how he thinks progressing to the quarter-finals would be beneficial for the club.
There are some fans who would rather we not bothered with the EFL Cup this season and instead concentrated on ensuring we finish as high up in the league as possible. But Bilic is right, anything can happen once you’re in the quarter-finals and we should be looking to progress.
Chelsea will field a strong team too, but are expected to rest a handful of so-called ‘first-team’ players. Either way, the first London derby at the London Stadium promises to be a good one.
With Aaron Cresswell returning from his suspension and the likes of Pedro Obiang and Edimilson Fernandes impressing in recent weeks, there’s potential for Bilic to return to his favoured 3-5-2 system by using Cresswell to help create as much as possible down that left-hand side.
We could see one or two players ‘rested’ but this XI is arguably as strong as it gets for us at the moment.