With the hours ticking down towards the start of this season's Capital One Cup campaign, club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton continue their preview…
Charlton in 2005 are the only lower league club to have overcome Chelsea at this stage of the competition since Huddersfield in 1999. Can the Blues make the fourth round for the sixth time in seven years?
He knows in most areas he has plenty of talent desperate to play, much of it hailing from the Academy ranks. Regular Under-21 players left out of last night's line-up at Selhurst Park might be in with a chance of some involvement this evening. (The U21s do play again on Friday, however.) So will Lucas Piazon (pictured below) have a run out tonight?
Other younger players are unavailable with Nathaniel Chalobah on loan to Watford and John Swift away with England at the UEFA European U19 Championship in Estonia.
Daniel Sturridge would be likely to figure were it not for the hamstring injury he sustained last week which makes him a doubt. That could mean we see more of the exciting Victor Moses than his bright cameos against QPR and Stoke.
Di Matteo may well also decide that the acclimatisation of Spain right-back Cesar Azpilicueta, a non-playing substitute for the games against QPR, Juventus and Stoke, should continue in the first team.
German winger Marko Marin, who sparkled before succumbing to injury in pre-season matches, has endured a frustrating start to his career at the Bridge and has seen some reserve action and may have his chance tonight.
The Italian boss has occasionally switched his system from 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3 and may experiment with more tweaks tonight as his new squad continues to bed in nicely.
His predecessor Mick McCarthy was unrepentant about fielding weakened sides in this competition, and Ståle Solbakken has promised wholesale changes tonight. This has nothing to do with the fact his father, Svein, is a fanatical Chelsea supporter.
Many of his players have played three league matches in seven days and climbing out of the Championship is his club's number one priority.
He has suggested that Bjorn Sigurdarson and Razak Boukari may step in for Kevin Doyle or Sylvan Ebanks-Blake upfront, while David Davis in midfield and defenders Georg Margreitter and Danny Batth may be involved.
The enduring bête noir of Blues fans, former Reading winger Stephen Hunt, may start this evening, with Dorus De Vries stepping for Carl Ikeme in goal. Chelsea also welcome back our former Academy striker Frank Nouble.
Solbakken's side has earned victories without always impressing as he attempts to forge a 'new Wolves' based on the old ethics of industry and spirit. They managed to retain some of their players despite the financial adjustment needed after relegation.
The Norwegian has also largely stuck with his preferred 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 formation and that places extra pressure on the midfield, with gaps appearing that Chelsea's extra numbers should be well equipped to exploit.
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Chelsea in the League Cup
Winners: 1965, 1998, 2005, 2007
Runners-up: 1972, 2008
Semi-finalists: 1973, 1985, 1991, 2002
Last 10 seasons in the League Cup
2001/02 - Semi-final
2002/03 - Quarter-final
2003/04 - Quarter-final
2004/05 - Winners
2005/06 - 3rd round
2006/07 - Winners
2007/08 - Runners-up
2008/09 - 4th round
2009/10 - Quarter-final
2010/11 - 3rd round
2011/12 - Quarter-final
Chelsea are competing in the League Cup for the 50th occasion. Our overall record in the competition is played 176, won 87, drawn 40, lost 49, goals 312, goals against 213.
Kerry Dixon is our leading scorer in the League Cup with 25 goals followed by Frank Lampard 11, Peter Osgood and Bobby Tambling 10 and Didier Drogba nine.
Last season the Blues went out of the League Cup at the quarter-final stage to Liverpool 0-2.
Chelsea have won three of our last five penalty shoot-outs, the last being at the Allianz Arena - the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
Chelsea have won 11 of our last 14 games at Stamford Bridge with Roberto Di Matteo in charge. Newcastle are the only team to have won here in that time with Tottenham and Juventus gaining draws.
|Last six results|
|Aug 22||Reading (h)||W 4-2|
|Aug 25||Newcastle (h)||W 2-0|
|Aug 31||Atlético Madrid (Uefa Super Cup)||L 1-4|
|Sep 15||QPR (a)||D 0-0|
|Sep 19||Juventus (Champions League h)||D 2-2|
|Sep 22||Stoke (h)||W 1-0|
Torres 3, Cahill 2, Ivanovic 2, Lampard 2 (2 pens), Oscar 2, Bertrand 1, Cole 1, Hazard 1 (pen). Total 14.
Wolves in the League Cup
Winners: 1973/74, 1979/80
|This season's League Cup campaign|
|Aug 11||(2) Aldershot (h) won 7-6 on pens||D 1-1aet|
|Aug 30||(3) Northampton (a)||W 3-1|
Wolves arrive at Stamford Bridge on the back of three wins in seven days in the Championship.
Wolves have been eliminated from the League Cup by Man Utd (twice) and Man City in the last three seasons. Last season City beat them 5-2 at Molineux in the fourth round.
Wanderers have won three penalty shoot-outs out of eight, including the last two, although they have lost all four away from home.
Last 10 seasons in the League Cup
2002/03 - 2nd round
2003/04 - 4th round
2004/05 - 2nd round
2005/06 - 2nd round
2006/07 - 1st round
2007/08 - 2nd round
2008/09 - 2nd round
2009/10 - 3rd round
2010/11 - 4th round
2011/12 - 4th round
Manager Ståle Solbakken
Days in charge: 86
|Last six results|
|Aug 25||Derby (h)||D 1-1|
|Aug 30||Northampton (League Cup a)||W 3-1|
|Sep 2||Cardiff (a)||L 1-3|
|Sep 16||Leicester (h)||W 2-1|
|Sep 19||Ipswich (a)||W 2-0|
|Sep 22||Peterborough (a)||W 2-0|
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Forty-two-year-old Neil Swarbrick is refereeing his first Chelsea game tonight. His most recent Wolves games were a 0-3 home loss to Arsenal in the league and Man City's 5-2 win at Molineux in this competition against a Wanderers second string.
There are no suspensions.