Chelsea Win In Capital One Goalfest A Shrew-d BetStats
Premier League leaders Chelsea face a trip to League Two outfit Shrewsbury Town with a quarter-final place in the Capital One Cup up for grabs.
Four wins on the spin have put Shrewsbury up to fourth in League Two, just three points off Luton Town on top and ony a point adrift of the automatic playoff places. They continued their unbeaten run on their own patch this season when they came back from a goal down to win 2-1 over Portsmouth on Saturday afternoon and have conceded just three goals at New Meadow all season while scoring 21 at the other end. The are also yet to concede a goal in the Capital One cup this term, having earned 1-0 wins over Championship duo Blackpool and Norwich either side of a victory over Premier League side Leicester at the Walker’s Stadium.
Chelsea kept their unbeaten start to the season intact at Old Trafford on Sunday but came desperately close to extending their lead at the top of the Premier League table, which now stands at four points. Didier Drogba turned back the clock to hand the Blues a second half lead they held until Robin van Persie’s injury time goal rescued a point for Louis van Gaal’s side. The 1-1 draw also brought an end a run of six consecutive wins for Jose Mourinho’s men, who have also scored in every game they’ve played this season.
Top scorer Diego Costa has been forced to sit out the last three matches but still scored nine in total this season, all of them coming in seven Premier League games.
Shrewsbury boss Micky Melon could stick with the same side which earned three points at the weekend for what he claims will be ‘a fantastic occasion’ for the club.
Mourinho is expected to ring the changes to his regular starting XI with the likes of Andre Schurrle, Jon Obi Mikel, Kurt Zouma, Nathan Ake, Mohamed Salah and Peter Cech in line for a starting berth. Spanish full-back Cesar Azpilicuta serves the second of a three match suspension for his sending off against Crystal Palace. Costa is unlikely to be risked while Loic Remy is also unlikely to be fit in time so young striker Dominic Solanke could get the nod up front.
Head to Head
The Blues cruised to a 4-0 win on their last visit to the Shrews, when a double from club legend Gianfranco Zola guided them to an FA Cup win in January 2003, with skipper John Terry the only survivor from that tie. That’s the only meeting between the clubs in the last 25 years, although Shrewsbury have held their own in the league games over the years, with both teams winning five of their 12 clashes.
The Premier League pacesetters and favourites are unsurprisingly short odds at 2/7 with the hosts at a hefty 17/2. Whichever side Mourinho does select will have more than enough talent and ability to see them through but it does make the goalscorer market best avoided until teams are announced. Although, with so much change in personnel likely both teams scoring at 20/23 looks a great punt, particularly given the Shrews record of over two goals per game on their own turf. The 7/4 on both teams registering in an away win also looks good value.