EFL Cup Round Two Match Preview: Chelsea v Bristol Rovers

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By Simon Gray

Premier League giants Chelsea entertain League One newcomers Bristol Rovers in the EFL Cup round two this week at Stamford Bridge.

With Chelsea not being in Europe this season, they enter the competition at this stage for the first time since the 1996/97 season.

Rovers overcame Cardiff 1-0 thanks to a Chris Lines wonder goal in extra time to set up the tie and manager Darrell Clarke is relishing the challenge.

“We aren’t going there [Stamford Bridge] for a day out. We want to go there and do ourselves justice and give Chelsea right good game and see if we can win a Cup tie.”

On the draw at Southend on Saturday Clarke added;

“For me, I’m disappointed and I’m angry.

“I thought we put in a thoroughly professional performance.

“We take our medicine and we move on.”

Chelsea go into the game on the back of successive 2-1 wins in the league against West Ham and Watford and manager Antonio Conte has said that it is important to keep the winning run going.

“Losing always leaves sad things in you,” he told the Evening Standard.

“You can lose your confidence and for this reason it is important to win these two games because you can continue to trust in the work and raise the confidence of the players.

“For these reasons it was important to start in the right way for all. Now we must continue and we have a great chance to continue in the next game at home.”

As far as team news goes, there are no new injury concerns for either manager but it is believed that Conte will leave out Diego Costa and other big names.

With no new signings at Rovers, manager Darrell Clarke may be tempted to select an unchanged 11 from Saturday’s draw at Southend.

Stats

This is only the 12th match between these two sides with the last coming back in 1981 where Rovers won 1-0 in the old Division Two.

Rovers midfielder Ollie Clarke already has three yellow cards in his five appearances this season.

Bristol Rovers Owner Wael Al-Qadi is an avid supporter of Chelsea and has gone on record stating that he is putting his lifelong allegiance to one side for Tuesday’s match.

21, Bristol Rovers fan for as long as i can remember. Highlight has to be to 06/07 Play Off win. Seen Rovers at 43/92 clubs in England and counting.

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