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As disappointing as Norwich were at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, Chelsea were simply irresistible, with Thomas Tuchel‘s side scoring seven unanswered goals against the Canaries to ensure that they would end the latest set of Premier League fixtures top of the table.
The Blues have enjoyed an excellent start to the 2021-22 league season, winning seven, drawing one and losing one of their nine matches to collect 22 points, while they have scored 23 goals and conceded just three.
It would be fair to say that the EFL Cup is fourth on the list of priorities this season behind the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup, but Tuchel will be desperate to progress to the quarter-finals of the competition, with their spot in the round of 16 confirmed via a penalty-shootout success over Aston Villa.
Chelsea have won the League Cup on five previous occasions; their last success in the competition came in 2015, when they overcame Tottenham Hotspur in the final courtesy of a 2-0 victory.
The Blues are currently on a run of four straight wins in all competitions and will fancy their chances of beating Southampton, Newcastle United, Malmo and Burnley in their next four encounters before travelling to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester City on November 20.
Blues boss Tuchel will make wholesale changes to the side that started against Norwich in the Premier League, with Malang Sarr, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marcos Alonso, Hakim Ziyech, Saul Niguez and Ruben Loftus-Cheek among those expected to come into the side.
Kai Havertz could again be given the nod through the middle, while Reece James, Mateo Kovacic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Trevor Chalobah might retain their spots in the team.
As for Southampton, Jack Stephens will again be missing due to a knee injury, while James Ward-Prowse remains unavailable for selection due to suspension.
Head coach Hasenhuttl will make changes to the side that took to the field against Burnley on Saturday, with Che Adams, Lyanco, Yan Valery and Nathan Tella in line for starts.
Stuart Armstrong appeared off the bench against Sean Dyche‘s side and could also be in line for a spot in the XI, while Fraser Forster is likely to come into the side between the sticks.
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Broja picked up a foot injury during the draw with Burnley but will miss out against Chelsea regardless of his fitness, as the striker cannot play against his parent club.
Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Kepa; James, Chalobah, Sarr, Alonso; Loftus-Cheek, Kovacic, Saul; Ziyech, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi
Southampton possible starting lineup:
Forster; Valery, Lyanco, Salisu, Perraud; Diallo, Romeu; Tella, Armstrong, Djenepo; Adams