Of the four trophies Chelsea are after this season, the Capital One Cup is the competition that concerns manager Jose Mourinho the least. After a difficult stretch of games and with another three game week on the horizon, fans will likely see a number of changes for Wednesday’s matchup with Bolton Wanderers this on September 24th (2:45 EST).
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech
After the 22-year-old Thibaut Courtois won the starting job from him this summer, Cech vowed to stay and fight for his place. Cech is quite possibly the best back-up keeper in the world. Look for him to get his first start of the season against Bolton, a team Cech has never lost to.
Right Back: Branislav Ivanovic
The Serbian has been a force at right back this season. Strong in the air and a very physical defender by trade, Ivanovic has grown as an attacker and has already scored twice this season. Look for him to join the attack often against Bolton.
Center Backs: Gary Cahill and Kourt Zouma
The league cup is the perfect time for the 33-year-old Chelsea captain John Terry to have a rest. he 19-year-old Zouma has plenty of strength and speed and should be given his first chance to impress in a Chelsea shirt alongside Cahill, who will be facing his former team for the second time.
Left Back: Filipe Luis
This is a easy decision for Mourinho, who can rest Cesar Azpilicueta and give Luis another chance to show his quality. Though Azpilicueta is one of the best defensive left backs in the world, Luis offers much more in attack and against lesser opponents like Bolton is a perfect choice to start.
Central Defensive Midfielders: John Obi Mikel and Ramires
Mikel is experienced in that defensive midfield role for Chelsea, where he was the starter until Nemanja Matic was signed last January. He is a strong tackler who can protect the back line and make a pass forward. Ramires, who plays in a number of positions for Chelsea, can slide into the central role giving Cesc Fabregas a much needed break.
Right Midfielder: Andre Schurrle
Schurrle came on a substitute against Manchester City last weekend to score his second goal of the season in a 1-1 draw. His pace and finishing ability make him a nightmare for defenders when he is cutting in from the right side.
Central Attacking Midfielder: Oscar
The 22-year-old Brazilian has shown in spells his potential for becoming one of the best midfielders in the world. However, there have been concerns about his fitness over the course of a full season. Having not played this past weekend, he will be fresh and ready to earn his starting place back.
Left Midfielder: Mohamed Salah
Salah’s Chelsea future was in doubt this summer after it was reported he would have to return to his native Egypt to carry out military duty. However, after meeting with the Egyptian Prime Minister, he was spared that duty. Salah brings pace wherever he goes and with a good performance could make a claim for more first team football.
Striker: Didier Drogba
Mourinho seems determined to get Drogba off the mark this season and the more game time he gets the quicker he will return to full fitness. While it is entirely possible Loic Remy gets the start, this game is a perfect time to give Drogba more time and chances to score his first goal since returning to Chelsea. It is almost a certainty both strikers will get ample time in this game, while Diego Costa rests his hamstring.