Frank Lampard is handing out youth debuts like Maurizio Sarri hands out cigarettes to kids who ring his doorbell on Halloween. Chelsea will likely field at least two first-team debutants against Grimsby Town in the Carabao Cup.
Grimsby Town are level on points in League Two with Colchester United. It’s just the luck of the draw and the magic of the Carabao Cup that Colchester United lined up against Tottenham at home, and the Mariners drew a less ridiculous team in Chelsea away. A very youthful Blues squad should be enough for a comfortable win.
Varun Dani: Chelsea 5 – 0 Grimsby Town. It’s time moral victories are replaced with real results and this game should mark the start of it. Chelsea should rotate heavily with a slew of youngsters involved: Marc Guehi, Ian Maatsen and Tino Anjorin hopefully playing alongside Callum Hudson-Odoi, Reece James and Billy Gilmour.
After his three-match snub, Lampard has to pick Christian Pulisic for the game, but the real youngster to watch out for will be Marc Guehi. He has all the attributes to be a top defender, can he be the academy answer to the Blues’ defensive woes? It would certainly fit the narrative of Lampard’s young guns.
Scott Brant: 4 – 0. Regardless of how many youth start, this should be in the bag before half time. I feel I am on the conservative side of how many Chelsea win by. All of Lampard’s misfit toys will likely start… looking at you, Michy Batshuayi and Christian Pulisic.
So here’s to a clean sheet where the keeper only makes one save total. When’s the next match and who do we play? This is one is over in my book.
Kevin Peacock: 4 – 1. Frank Lampard’s Chelsea will get their first home win of the season against the Mariners. There’ll be goals too, of course, and it will take Jody Morris back to those heady days leading the yoof. However, the defence may still concede a sloppy goal as the B team look to rack up the goals. Goals from Hudson-Odoi (2), Pulisic (2) and Olivier Giroud.
Barrett Rouen: 4 – 1. I am very curious how Callum Hudson-Odoi looks, as I think he’s come back too soon and Achilles tendons are not a guarantee for a fully-healed recovery. I really hope he’s just not an average winger and my Arjen Robben / Cristiano Ronaldo in Blue dreams aren’t crushed.
Fikayo Tomori will continue to be a golden child and hero, and maybe Marc Guehi, the young hope, plays? There will still be some experience out there, as long as it does not include Ross Barkley. Christian Pulisic to have a field day.
Nate Hofmann: 3 – 1. A League Two opponent at home is just what the doctor ordered for a Chelsea squad that is quite literally limping into the match. Lampard has already promised to trot out a few young players, specifically Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James, and we could be treated to the likes of Marc Guehi, Billy Gilmour, or even Faustino Anjorin as well. Who knows, maybe we’ll even catch a rare glimpse of Christian Pulisic.
Chelsea will be fascinating to watch going forward, while an untested backline should keep Chelsea’s streak of consecutive non-clean sheets (dirty sheets?) going strong. So, business as usual then.
Olaoluwa Nwobodo: 4 – 1. It would be worrying if Chelsea have a difficult time, however I believe they will not. This is the kind of game that gives Lampard the perfect opportunity to rest key players (all players, really) and give the other academy players a runout to see who might be Premier League material.
A home game against a League Two side, what could go wrong, right? Right?!
Rupert Meadows: 2 – 1. A positive game with a lot of youngsters getting minutes. Chelsea are bright in attack but wasteful and concede one at their end, but get the job done. Marc Guehi excels at center back, and Hudson-Odoi is a bright spark going forward but is still a little rusty.
Abhishek Pancholi: 6 – 0. At last, an opponent Chelsea should – nay, must – keep a clean sheet against. The game against Grimsby will be an exhibition of the some of the lesser known Cobham academy products. It should also let most of the veterans sit down and relax, while the next generation puts on a show.
This should be a chance for Christian Pulisic to stretch his legs and bag a goal or three. Reece James will also demonstrate that maybe now Cesar Azpilicueta can finally get some me-time instead of being called in to patrol the right flank twice every week. Callum Hudson-Odoi will also get off the mark this season, notching up two goals to go with his assist for Michy Batshuayi.
An entertaining and encouraging game, all things considered.