Chelsea could rest John Obi Mikel and Juan Mata for meeting with Manchester United
John Obi Mikel and Juan Mata could be spared from the spotlight of Chelsea's Capital One Cup meeting with Man United.
Last Updated: 31/10/12 7:41pm
Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo was always likely to consider resting the midfield duo, given the number of changes the club traditionally make for League Cup ties.
But he also has to take into account their emotional state after it emerged they were the players Chelsea accused referee Mark Clattenburg of using "inappropriate language" towards during Sunday's explosive Premier League game against United.
Meanwhile, Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic are both suspended following their red cards at the weekend, John Terry is also banned, Ashley Cole could be rested and Frank Lampard is injured.
"It is certainly a tricky situation," Di Matteo told his club's official website. "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."
Daniel Sturridge, Cesar Azpilicueta and Lucas Piazon - who has shaken off a hamstring strain - all look certain to start.
They could be joined by Victor Moses, Marko Marin, Oriol Romeu and Ryan Bertrand if Mikel and Mata are given a breather, and youngsters George Saville and Nathan Ake may also be included in the first-team squad.
Di Matteo said of his fringe men: "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.
"They have been waiting for an opportunity and going forward I think we will see more of them."
Like Chelsea, United fielded a blend of youth and experience in their third round win in September.
"We will have to wait for the teamsheet but I am not expecting just a young team, I am expecting a strong team," said Di Matteo. "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."