RESERVES IN AWAY ACTION
Before the first team take to the pitch again, the Under 18s contest the second leg of their FA Youth Cup semi-final on Friday and prior to that, the reserves are in action this afternoon (Tuesday) at Wigan.
There are just two more league matches left for our second string, and today's match is the fourth in a row on the road, the previous three yielding a mixed bag of results - one win, one draw and one defeat.
Reserve team manager Dermot Drummy is hoping his side bounce back from last week's match at Wolves which ended in a 3-2 defeat despite Chelsea leading twice.
'The Wigan game is our last away trip and with the Youth Cup on Friday, the reserve squad members who will play in that are training with [youth team manager] Adi Viveash all week, and we wish them well,' Drummy told the official Chelsea website.
'It gives the chance to look at how some of the young first years do in the reserves and for our remaining reserve squad to get another game in. We need to correct the disappointment of the defeat at Wolves. Although the performance there was okay, we need a win as well as a good performance.'
Prior to last week's game, Drummy highlighted the need for his team to stand up to the physical challenge of that encounter and was not disappointed by the response, although there were other lessons to learn.
'I have been to watch our reserve games at Wolves before and we have got run over. This time we did match them physically and mentally, but what we didn't do is mark tightly enough at times and their senior players, Karl Henry and Nenad Milijas, were able to roll off us and that led to a goal.
'That is why I like our young players to play against senior players because it highlights that one mistake can cost you a goal, and that is a good lesson.
'I was pleased with the way we played and the goals we scored and the attacking emphasis we showed, but we are constantly learning because we play an attacking game that you have to switch on when you are off the ball.'
The scorers against Wolves were Patrick Bamford and Lucas Piazon. With Romelu Lukaku not in the reserve team last week, there was a chance for January-signing Bamford to play in his preferred centre-forward role. The 18-year-old has three goals from his five reserve appearances so far.
'Patrick is a no. 9 but we know from the first team that sometimes players don't play in their favourite position but they get on to it,' says Drummy.
'Patrick has shown great application when he played in the no. 7 position but he looks a no. 9 and we have been working on that. He shows a bright attitude to wanting to learn and he has pace and is a natural finisher, so he is looking a promising prospect.'
Piazon, plus Nathaniel Chalobah, Todd Kane and Jamal Blackman are reserve squad members who will be with the youth team this week, as well as schoolboy striker Islam Feruz who played the Wolves reserve match.
Wigan are coming in to today's game on the back of a 2-0 away win at Swansea last week.
The match takes place at the Robin Park Arena with a 2pm kick-off.
There will be highlights on Chelsea TV later in the week and the club's own channel will be screening live Friday evening's Youth Cup match against Manchester United.