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Di Matteo forced to make Chelsea changes

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo will make changes for the Capital One Cup clash against Manchester United on Wednesday.

Ashley Cole will miss the game after injuring his ankle in Sunday’s 3-2 defeat to the Red Devils, while Frank Lampard remains sidelined and Branislav Ivanovic, Fernando Torres and John Terry are all suspended.

“Ashley’s ankle is sore and swollen and he won’t recover in time for tomorrow,” Di Matteo said.

“So it reduces the squad but everybody else is okay. It is also our fourth game in 10 days and they have all been big games so we are looking to freshen the team up a little bit for sure, and also put a couple of youngsters in.

“We always talk about developing and giving youngsters a chance so this type of game is a good opportunity for some of them.”

Chelsea beat Championship side Wolves 6-0 in the previous round and Di Matteo is excited to see how fringe players such as Lucas Piazon, Cesar Azpilicueta and Daniel Sturridge perform.

“They are very good players and they are young but they have a little bit of experience as well, and it will be great to see them perform,” he said.

“They have been waiting for an opportunity and going forward I think we will see more of them.

“Our fixture list is pretty packed with seven games in November and nine or ten games in December and it is very demanding.”

Di Matteo is, however, unsure how Alex Ferguson will approach the game with a place in the quarter-finals awaiting the winners.

“I am not sure United are going to go with a similar team to the one they had against Newcastle or they are going to mix up it,” he said.

“It is a bit of an unknown and we will have to wait for the teamsheet, but I am not expecting just a young team, I am expecting a strong team.

“When you play Man United it is always a big game in whichever competition you play in.

“I hope the supporters get behind the team, the young players especially, and push us on to a win.

“Any trophy you add to your cabinet is a plus and this is one you have to try your best to go and get. That is the objective.”

Tue 30 October, 2012
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