WE'RE down to the last eight sides in the Capital One Cup. Can Championship club Derby cause Chelsea problems? We asked Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79).
Derby v Chelsea | Tuesday 19:45 | Sky Sports 1
This looks a terrific match to get the Capital One Cup Quarter-Finals underway. Chelsea, sitting top of the Premier League, up against Championship favourites Derby.
Derby boast a very strong home record this season, with just one defeat in 12 I-Pro contests. In seven of those 12 matches they've managed to keep a clean sheet so it bodes well for Tuesday night.
Steve McClaren's side suffered a 2-0 defeat to Middlesbrough on Saturday, but there's no huge disgrace in that as the Teesiders are now unbeaten in eight and have overtaken Derby in the Championship table.
We'll learn a lot about Derby in this match, as they've yet to face Premier League opposition in this competition. I think they can definitely hold their own and give Chelsea something to think about.
The Blues have fond memories of this competition. Their 2005 win against Liverpool kick-started a trophy-laden decade and it's noticeable they triumphed again in 2007 while still under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho.
We know then that the Portuguese takes this competition fairly seriously. Two League Cup trophies in his four complete seasons as Chelsea manager speaks volumes. Just take a look at the side he put out against League Two Shrewsbury in the last round for further evidence.
Despite three wins in their last five fixtures, I don't think Chelsea are in top gear just now. The weekend win over Hull was routine, the defeat to Newcastle and draw with Sunderland in the preceding weekends less so. It's been a long season for the club with 24 competitive matches already under their belt.
Summing up, I do think Chelsea will edge through but odds of 1/2 with Paddy Power make zero appeal. I've already touched on Derby's strong home form, but it's worth also mentioning they've accrued seven clean sheets in their 12 home fixtures. Don't expect Chelsea to run away with this tie.
There were a few bets that caught my eye, (Both Teams To Score, 2-3 Goals) but the price didn't feel right. Instead I'll take a bit of a punt and select Chelsea to win the game by exactly one goal. Ladbrokes have priced that up at 11/4 and that's good enough for me.
Derby v Chelsea – Chelsea to win by one goal (11/4 Ladbrokes)