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Chelsea travel to dented Derby in Capital One Cup QF clash

Jose Mourinho will drop centre back Gary Cahill for Chelsea’s Capital One Cup quarter-final trip to Derby County, though the Portuguese boss has insisted the England defender is merely being rested, despite being on the end of criticism for diving against Hull City last time out.

“I will pick the best possible team. We have no reason to rest people, everybody goes,” said Mourinho, whose team are odds-on at 4/9 with Coral to beat the Rams at Pride Park in 90 minutes, and shorter at 1/5 to progress to the semi-finals.

“The only one that is not going is Cahill, but that is only because he played against Sporting Lisbon last week,” Mourinho added. “So I will play Kurt Zouma,” he continued, with the 28 year old’s replacement 12/1 to net anytime, after one goal in two Capital One Cup appearances already this term.

“We are going to play against a top team in the Championship,” Moruinho continued. “The difference between a top team in the Championship and Premier League teams is very, very small. We played there last season and it was not easy.”

Derby, who lost 2-0 away at Middlesbrough last time out, to see their victors replace them at the top of England’s second tier, will be keen to put things right, though face a hard task against the Blues side that have only lost once this season in all competitions.

Top scorer Chris Martin has been on song for County this term, with 12 goals in all competitions, including two in the Capital One Cup is a 2/1 anytime scorer chance, while the hosts also have three other players on the same tally.

Scotland forward Johnny Russell is 7/2, and Republic of Ireland midfielder Jeff Hendrick has a price of 7/1, while Jamaica winger Simon Dawkins is 5/1 in the anytime scorer market, as Steve McClaren’s men seek to give Rams fans an early Christmas present.

Mourinho will have to make a decision whether top scorer Diego Costa features, having dispatched against Hull, and the Brazilian-born Spain international centre forward is 3/1 to open the scoring.

However, the Chelsea coach may opt for Loic Remy; evens to net anytime, in the lone attacking berth, while highly-rated youngster Dominic Solanke is available at 6/1 to score two or more.

Of the Blues’ senior strikers, only Didier Drogba has netted so far in this season’s instalment of the competition, after a solitary goal against Shrewsbury Town gave his team early advantage in round four. To draw first blood against Derby, Drogba is a 4/1 price.