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Match Previews

WALSALL VS. CHELSEA: MATCH PREVIEW

23 September 2015

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea visit the Banks’s tonight…

WALSALL VS. CHELSEA
Banks’s Stadium
Wednesday, 23rd September 2015 (Kick-off 7.45pm)
Capital One Cup Third Round

OVERVIEW:
League One high-flyers Walsall host Premier League champions Chelsea in a mouth-watering Capital One Cup third round tie. The Saddlers, who are second in League One, knocked out Championship sides Nottingham Forest and Brighton to reach this stage for the first time in 13 years. Jose Mourinho’s star-studded Blues are 15th in the top-flight after a stuttering start to the season, but are the current League Cup holders.

LEAGUE STANDINGS:
Walsall:
2nd in League One – W5 D2 L1 F14 A5 PTS17
Chelsea: 15th in the Premier League – W2 D1 L3 F9 A12 PTS7

LAST FIVE COMPETITIVE MATCHES: (Most recent match first)
Walsall: DWLLW
Chelsea: WWLLW

LAST TIME OUT:
Saturday, 19th September – Peterborough 1-1 Walsall
Substitute Michael Bostwick scored a controversial late penalty to deny Walsall victory at ten-man Peterborough. Romaine Sawyers’ 53rd-minute stunner put the Saddlers ahead. Peterborough’s Jermaine Anderson was sent off for throwing a water bottle into the crowd with the score at 1-0.
Team: Etheridge, Demetriou, Taylor (Forde 82'), O’Connor, Downing, Chambers, Mantom, Bradshaw (Lalkovic 69'), Sawyers, Henry, Flanagan (Cook 69').

Saturday, 19th September – Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal
Second-half goals from Kurt Zouma and Eden Hazard gave Chelsea a much-needed 2-0 victory over nine-man Arsenal. Gabriel and Santi Cazorla were dismissed for the Gunners.
Team: Begovic, Ivanovic, Zouma, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Fabregas (Mikel 92’), Matic, Pedro, Oscar (Ramires 69’), Hazard, Costa (Remy 82’).

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD:
Walsall wins: 1
Chelsea wins: 9
Draws: 1

LAST MEETING:
Wednesday, 7th October 1992 – Chelsea 1-0 Walsall

Robert Fleck’s penalty sealed a slender win on the night, and a 4-0 aggregate success for Chelsea in the League Cup second round.

CHELSEA MANAGER:
Jose Mourinho
– The charismatic Portuguese is one of the most successful football managers in the world. Nicknamed 'The Special One', Mourinho has won a staggering 22 major honours in a glittering 15-year management career. The 52-year-old has won league titles in four European leagues (England, Spain, Italy and Portugal) and has lifted the Champions League twice. He is into his second spell at Stamford Bridge.

CHELSEA STAR MAN:
Eden Hazard
– The exciting Belgian playmaker is regarded by many as the best player in the Premier League. The 24-year-old was named the PFA Players' Player of the Year last season after helping Chelsea clinch the Premier League title. He signed for £32m in June 2012 from his first club Lille, where he won a domestic double.

VIEW FROM THE CHELSEA CAMP:
Jose Mourinho (on playing Walsall)
– "Walsall is a cup game, a cup that we won and a cup that we don't want to throw away. We want to try to win. Wednesday is just one more difficult match."


TEAM NEWS:Walsall: Isaiah Osbourne is out (knee). Tom Bradshaw was taken off as a precaution on Saturday (groin) but is expected to be fit.
Chelsea: John Terry and Radamel Falcao will both start. Several star names are likely to be rested.

REFEREE:
Lee Mason (from Lancashire).

STAT OF THE DAY:
The Saddlers’ only victory in 11 attempts against Chelsea came on 30th March 1963 – a 1-0 win in an old Second Division match at Stamford Bridge.

THIS EVENING’S LEAGUE CUP FIXTURES: (7.45pm unless stated)
Crystal Palace vs. Charlton
MK Dons vs. Southampton
Newcastle vs. Sheff Wed
Norwich vs. West Brom
Tottenham vs. Arsenal
Liverpool vs. Carlisle (8.00pm)
Man Utd vs. Ipswich (8.00pm)

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