Chelsea’s Pedro and Leicester City’s Danny Simpson vie for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and Chelsea at King Power Stadium in Leicester, Britain, 14 December 2015. EPA/TIM KEETON
Leicester goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler will retain his place for the English Football League Cup tie against Chelsea tonight as Kasper Schmeichel remains sidelined with a concussion.
Claudio Ranieri’s side host the Blues at the King Power Stadium with both teams expected to field stringe players most of whom have been benched in Premier league matches.
For the Foxes, Jeff Schlupp is fit and Ben Chilwell, Leonardo Ulloa, Shinji Okazaki, Ahmed Musa and Demarai Gray are set to start.
Chelsea are still without captain John Terry while Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and Michy Batshuayi are pushing for starts.
Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri wants the fans to give N’Golo Kante a warm welcome when he returns with Chelsea.
Kante, who signed for the Blues in July for a reported £30m, was the only key player to leave the King Power following their title-winning season.
“I will be very happy if our fans clap him at the beginning and afterwards,” Ranieri said.
“Kante was very important for us and I think he was even more important for us than at Chelsea because Chelsea have so many big players,” Ranieri added.
At the iPro Stadium, host Derby County welcome an in form Liverpool side who beat Chelsea 2-1 on Friday.
Loris Karius will make his competitive Liverpool debut with manager Jürgen Klopp claiming he does not have a No1 goalkeeper at Anfield.
The £4.7m summer signing will start in the League Cup tie having been sidelined at the start of the season by a broken hand.
“Loris will play, if nothing happens,” Klopp confirmed. “He was a really strong Bundesliga goalkeeper and that means a lot.”
Striker Roberto Firmino has been declared fit to feature against Nigel Pearson’s side having missed the win at Chelsea but there is still no place yet for Mamadou Sakho.
The France defender has not featured for Liverpool this season due to an Achilles injury, though he returned to training a fortnight ago.
“He is still working on his fitness,” Klopp said of Shako. “Roberto is in training. The medical department told me he could have played against Chelsea but I heard the word risk too often so I decided no,” he added.
Midfielder Emre Can is available again after an ankle problem. Kloop is set to name a strong side in the competition.
Derby striker Andreas Weimann could feature in the while Matej Vydra and Ikechi Anya, both on loan from Watford, are cup-tied having played earlier in the competition.
Nearby at the Goodison Park, Everton and Norwich renew rivalries in the Cup tie following a round four clash in the same competition last season. The Toffees progressed 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at the same venue tonight.
Everton striker Romelu Lukaku will be rested for tie with Championship side while recent signing Enner Valencia is set to make his first Toffees start in place of the Belgian, who was substituted at the weekend with a toe problem.
Portugal forward Nelson Oliveira, a summer signing from Benfica, could make his Norwich debut.
Midfielder Alex Tettey (hip) is a doubt while winger Matt Jarvis (knee) is out.
Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner could make his first start for Nottingham Forest when they face his former club Arsenal in the League Cup tonight.
The Championship side will be without injured trio Damien Perquis, Britt Assombalonga and Thomas Lam.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger could rotate his squad, with David Ospina, Rob Holding, Kieran Gibbs, Lucas Perez and Chuba Akpom all hoping to feature. Olivier Giroud (toe) missed Saturday’s win at Hull, but could be available.
At the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth have a fully fit squad for their match against Preston but manager Eddie Howe is expected to rotate his side.
Striker Callum Wilson could return to the starting XI, while Arsenal loanee Jack Wilshere is likely to feature.
Preston boss Simon Grayson has promised to make changes to his team following Saturday’s 5-0 defeat at Brentford.
Defender Marnick Vermijl (hamstring) is out, but Ben Pringle, John Welsh, Simon Makienok and Bailey Wright could play.
Other League Cup fourth round matches will see Championship clubs Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers clash at St. James Park in London.
Rafa Benitez’s side will appeal against the red card shown to midfielder Vurnon Anita in Saturday’s Championship home defeat by Wolves as the two sides meet again tonight.
Anita was dismissed for his challenge on Ivan Cavaleiro as Wolves ended Newcastle’s five-game winning run.
Boss Rafael Benitez is expected to make changes, while Wolves manager Walter Zenga could stick with the same squad.
Summer signings Silvio and Ola John are still waiting to make their debut.
Wolves have stopped on in the north-east following Saturday’s 2-0 win for a pre-arranged four-night bonding trip.
Leeds United are hosting Blackburn Rovers at the Elland Road. The home team are expecting captain Liam Bridcutt to return, having injured his foot against the same side on 13 September.
Boss Garry Monk is likely to make a number of changes, with Tyler Denton among those expected to feature.
Blackburn hope to sign ex-England defender Wes Brown in time for the tie.
Rovers could make as many as nine changes, with David Raya starting in goal, while Tommy Hoban and and Derrick Williams are cup-tied.
In East Sussex, Brighton boss Chris Hughton will give a debut to Belgium international defender Sebastien Pocognoli against Reading, while Sam Baldock will return after a calf problem.
Full-back Rob Hunt will start for the Seagulls, with Uwe Hunemeier and Connor Goldson set to feature after injury.
Reading will be without top scorer Garath McCleary, who starts a three-game ban after a red card at Barnsley.
Jaap Stam’s side have no fresh injury concerns, but Yakou Meite and Deniss Rakels (both ankle) remain sidelined.
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