22 min Hudson-Odoi runs 40 yards down the right before being fouled by Phil Fred. He looks Chelsea’s biggest threat at the moment, especially as United’s left-back Brandon Williams has been a bit jittery in the first 20 minutes.
21 min I’ll be honest, it’s not a classic.
20 min There’s no extra-time tonight. If this match ends in a draw, it goes straight to penalties.
18 min Batshuayi is booked for a late tackle on McTominay.
16 min United are, in the parlanace of our time, growing into the game. They haven’t been as snappy in possession as Chelsea, but Rashford and James are an obvious threat on the break.
15 min A loose clearance from Zouma falls kindly for James, whose snapshot bobbles miles wide.
13 min McTominay almost gives United the lead. It was a good, training-round corner, with James cutting the ball back for McTominay to run into space and spank a first-time shot just wide of the near post.
13 min Wan-Bissaka finds Lingard in space down the right, and his cross deflects off Guehi for a corner.
11 min McTominay is booked for an inept lunge at Kovacic.
10 min The game is being played at good pace, with Chelsea looking very assured in possession.
7 min Lingard goes down just outside the area after a challenge from Kovacic. I’m not sure whether it was a slip or a foul. The referee Paul Tierney judged that it was the former, and replays show he was right.
5 min After a patient move of at least 20 passes, Pulisic’s snapshot is blocked by Lindelof. Chelsea have started very well.
4 min Chelsea have had most of the ball in the first few minutes. Pulisic looks very lively, as you’d expect of someone who had a day out at the weekend.
“Cannot wait to see whether Billy Gilmour can cut it against an (albeit mid-table) Premier League team,” says Matt Baxter. “He was incredible vs Grimsby. The future’s bright, the future’s Blue!”
And he’s Scottish. They are in serious danger of having a decent team in the next few years.
This game kicks off at 8.05pm. The match between Liverpool and Arsenal started at 7.30pm; if you don’t want to know the score, don’t click this.
“Evening Rob,” says Simon McMahon. “Gregg has the current Big Cup holders on his MBM, and Guest appearances from both Donald McRae and David Squires. I think you need to make your readers an offer they can’t refuse. Cute cat video, perhaps?”
I’m offering Phil Fred, mate. I think I know who’s winning.
The Sky Sports team graphics suggest an unexpected midfield battle tonight: Marcus Jorginho against Phil Fred. Seriously. Phil Fred!
So much for giving old age a chance. Both have picked strong, young sides, with United close to full strength.
Chelsea (4-3-3) Caballero; James, Guehi, Zouma, Alonso; Gilmour, Jorginho, Kovacic; Hudson-Odoi, Batshuayi, Pulisic.
Substitutes: Cumming, Lamptey, Azpilicueta, Mount, Pedro, Giroud, Abraham.
Manchester United (3-4-1-2) Romero; Lindelof, Maguire, Rojo; Wan-Bissaka, Fred, McTominay, Williams; Lingard; James, Rashford.
Substitutes: Grant, Jones, Young, Pereira, Garner, Mata, Martial.
Referee Paul Tierney.
Ambassador… department We have two MBMs tonight, such is our commitment to the Carabao Cup. If you’d rather follow Liverpool v Arsenal, Gregg Bakowski is your man.
Evening. The Carabao Cup is seen as the competition in which Chelsea and Manchester United give young players a chance. In practice, that hasn’t always been the case. Jose Mourinho, in particular, won the competition with both clubs by picking experienced sides. And while we should see one or two newish faces tonight, it’s likely that the average age of both teams will increase.
That’s because both teams have already picked their best young players in the Premier League. The average age of their starting XIs this season has generally been 24 or 25, among the lowest in the league, so tonight is a chance for older players like Pedro, Olivier Giroud, Willy Caballero, Juan Mata, Sergio Romero and Phil Jones to remind us of their existence. It’s what the Carabao Cup is all about!
Kick off is at 8.05pm.