Chelsea take a break from a gruelling Premier League festive programme as they take on Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday night. The game gives both Antonio Conte and Eddie Howe a chance to rest some key players and give those on the fringes a chance in the first team. With Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal all kept apart in the quarter-final draw, a win against Bournemouth and the Blues will almost certainly come up against one of those three in the semis. If you fancy a flutter on a sport that doesn’t involve Chelsea, head over to Unibet and see what they offering on the horses here:

Team News

Having picked up his 5th booking of the season on Saturday, Marcos Alonso will have to sit this one out so Kenedy is expected to replace him at left wing-back.

Willy Caballero, Davide Zappacosta, Antonio Rudiger, Danny Drinkwater, Ethan Ampadu, Charly Musonda and Michy Batshuayi are all expected to feature as Antonio Conte looks to rotate his squad.

Asmir Begovic and Nathan Ake could make their first return to Stamford Bridge since they left for the South Coast in the summer.
Brad Smith, Adam Federici and Tyrone Mings are all out with injuries.

Key Battles

Injury and lack of minutes has meant that Michy Batshuayi hasn’t found the net since his double against Watford at the end of October so his confidence could be quite low. Simon Francis, Steve Cook and Nathan Ake will be looking to stop him from breaking his duck.

Bournemouth have very attacking full-backs in Charlie Daniels and Adam Smith – they will try to push Davide Zappacosta and Kenedy as far back up the pitch as possible so it’s up to the Chelsea wing-backs to find space and get involved in attacking areas.

Andreas Christensen struggled against Charlie Austin on Saturday and there’s no respite for the Dane with the likes of Jermain Defoe and Callum Wilson coming to Stamford Bridge. He will continue to learn but will have to be careful of the Cherries’ quick strikers who like to get in behind.

Chelsea’s record against Bournemouth

Eddie Howe’s men caused an almighty upset at the home of the Champions in 2015 and compiled the misery on Jose Mourinho with a 1-0 win. Glenn Murray’s winner plunged Chelsea towards the bottom of the Premier League table in December and Mourinho was gone in a matter of weeks.

These two met at the Bridge during the festive period last year with goals from Pedro (2) and Eden Hazard giving Chelsea their 12th consecutive win on Boxing Day 2016. In fact, that Bournemouth win in 2015 is their only victory over the Blues in the Premier League with Chelsea winning the other four meetings.

The most recent match between the two teams came at the Vitality Stadium where Eden Hazard’s second-half strike saw them beat the Cherries on their own patch for the third season in a row.

Being honest, it was a kind draw for the Blues if you consider the other teams that were in the hat. This Bournemouth side are not in a fine run of form and even a much-changed Chelsea team will be firm favourites to progress to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup.