Chelsea v Derby Wednesday October 31, 19:45 Live on Sky Sports
Chelsea stroll to Sunday success
Ross Barkley inspired Chelsea to a comfortable 4-0 victory at Burnley on Sunday, scoring once and setting up two more as Maurizio Sarri's men kept their unbeaten record intact at Turf Moor. The England midfielder set-up Alvaro Morata and Willian, before Ruben Loftus-Cheek added a fourth in stoppage-time.
The Blues were without top goalscorer Eden Hazard, who missed the game with a back injury and the Belgian ace isn't expected to be involved on Wednesday night. Nevertheless, the exceptional Willian and Barkley more than made up for his loss, whilst Morata could easily have had a first-half hat-trick.
Chelsea saw Pedro hobble off after half an hour and is unlikely to now feature in midweek, although Cesc Fabregas came on to make his first league appearance of the season and should be involved as he seeks to build up on his fitness.
Derby impress on Teesside
Derby boss Frank Lampard was frustrated to see his Rams side fail to pick up maximum points from their trip to Middlesbrough on Saturday. County were dominant in the first-half, having more than 80% possession in the opening 20 minutes, and deservedly went ahead via George Friend's own goal.
Harry Wilson hit a post with Derby's sharp, instinctive, one-touch passing and attacking football too good for their hosts. Martyn Waghorn, Tom Lawrence and Wilson were all outstanding but Lampard was disappointed his troops failed to extend their advantage before retreating in the final half hour.
A cagey affair ensured after the interval and as the Rams sat back, Middlesbrough's pressure eventually told with a late leveller arriving as Jayden Bogle comically volleyed past his hapless keeper Scott Carson. Mason Mount took a knock at the Riverside but is set to be fit to feature against his parent club.
Blues firm favourites to avoid Halloween shock
Derby have lost each of their last eight away matches against Chelsea since 1990 and head to Stamford Bridge looking to become the first Rams side since Brian Clough's 1968/69 outfit to knock two top-flight sides out in a single League Cup campaign. Country are 13.50 having already eliminated Man Utd last time out.
Frank Lampard's charges are unbeaten in five and impressed in the final-third in recent trips to Championship high-flyers West Brom and Middlesbrough. Having fired only two blanks on their travels this term, Derby will be expected to get forward and put Chelsea under pressure on Wednesday night.
The Blues have progressed from 18 of their last 19 League Cup ties against non-Premier League opponents and come into this contest unbeaten after the first 10 games of a top-flight season for just the fifth time in their history. Maurizio Sarri's side are in fine form and worthy 1.28 favourites this midweek.
With little value to be found in the Match Odds market, it may pay to have a poke on Chelsea to triumph alongside Both Teams To Scoreat 2.82. The Londoners have only recorded two shutouts on home soil this season - against Bournemouth and Vidi in the Europa League - and are unlikely to field their first-choice defence.
Enjoyable encounter forecast
Over 2.5 Goals is trading at just 1.60 ahead of Wednesday night's showdown, and with both teams more adept and comfortable in the final-third, an enjoyable encounter is forecast.
Across Chelsea's campaign as a whole, the Blues' matches are averaging 3.42 Expected Goals per-game. Whilst Derby's league and EFL Cup outings are averaging just 2.56 Expected Goals per-game, there's enough precedent to suggest a high-scoring contest could be on the cards.
Overall, 9/14 (64%) Chelsea games have surpassed the Over 2.5 Goals line with half of Derby's 18 fixtures following suit. Meanwhile, seven of the Rams' past eight dates have produced profitable Both Teams To Score punts, perhaps reinforcing our recommended best bet.
Back Chelsea to win and Both Teams To Score @ 2.80 in Chelsea v Derby