Chelsea drawn at Stamford Bridge again in Carabao Cup quarter-finals

Eden Hazard

Former Chelsea FC forward Zola, who is now working as Maurizio Sarri's assistant manager at Stamford Bridge, is confident Hazard is nearing a return to first-team action.

Chelsea went on to win the game in an enthralling encounter, with Tomori left dejected at the final whistle. He offered plenty of bite and might even have provided a lead with a cleverly clipped pass which freed Martyn Waghorn, only for the lumbering No 9 to panic in front of goal and stumble as he poked a shot straight at Caballero.

Lampard took it all in his stride, of course, transitioning effortlessly from clapping the songs directed at him to vigorously applauding his Derby players as they hassled and harried Chelsea into defensive mistakes.

Olivier Giroud also has fatigue in one of his legs, but youngster Ethan Ampadu could be back in contention after returning to full training following a knee injury this week. As a result, Callum Hudson-Odoi could be trusted with a start with Willian needing a rest after starting the past nine games in all competitions. Lampard's new side had his old side absolutely rattled for long periods here, with Mason Mount and Tom Huddlestone outstanding. Also combined well with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Zappacosta on the right.

Incredibly, this wasn't to be the end of Derby County's bad-luck.

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The Blues defeated Derby County 3-2 on Wednesday evening.

And it is this game from which Derby can gain confidence, with the Blues switching off defensively at times.

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Controversy surrounded what turned out to be the winning goal for Chelsea.

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Head coach Maurizio Sarri said after that match that Hazard's fitness remains of critical importance, and Zola said that he is on track to return to the team when Crystal Palace visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

"The defenders had more time, but they weren't as sharp as normal", he said.

With rotation likely, Loftus-Cheek will be one of the favourites to start for Chelsea and could yet again find the net.

The last time these two sides met, Chelsea emerged victorious with a 3-1 win at Pride Park in the League Cup in 2014.

Premier League counterparts Bournemouth will be our opponents in the quarter-finals, as it was revealed last night following the fourth round fixtures. Come on Chelsea, we can't let Derby score all our goals for us.

If Derby do end up knocking out Chelsea, there would surely be different questions being asked of the club, as is the work of the fans and pundits, so it is best to leave their business alone.

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