Checkatrade Trophy preview: Scaling new heights

Our development squad head to the East Midlands tomorrow (Tuesday) for a semi-final in the Checkatrade Trophy, with a trip to Wembley reward for the victors. Here, the official Chelsea website previews the encounter…

 

The background

After 123 matches in the 2017/18 edition of the competition since August, it’s the semi-finals in the Checkatrade Trophy and our development team are still left standing. After defeating three sides from League One in the knockout round, the next challenge for Joe Edwards’s team is a trip to Sincil Bank, home of Lincoln City.

This is the second season in which academy teams have been invited to participate in the Football League competition, with 16 young sides joining the 48 clubs from League One and League Two. Swansea City were the academy team who advanced furthest last term, reaching the last-eight before losing to eventual winners Coventry City.

No Chelsea first team has played at Sincil Bank for 107 years. Former Imps manager David Calderhead was in charge of the west Londoners for a 0-0 draw back in March 1911.

The numbers

The young Blues have won seven of their last nine games in all competitions, including four of their last six.

 

6 Jan - Swansea (a) - L 0-2


9 Jan - Portsmouth (a) - W 2-1


14 Jan - Sunderland (a) - W 5-0


23 Jan - Oxford United (h) - W 3-0


29 Jan - Everton (a) - L 1-2


2 Feb - Leicester (h) - W 1-0


Development squad scorers

Hudson-Odoi 9, Taylor-Crossdale 5, James 3, Musonda 3, Redan 3, Batshuayi 2, Grant 2, McCormick 2, St Clair 2, Ampadu 1, Castillo 1, Christie-Davies 1, K.Hazard 1, Sterling 1, Ugbo 1
 

Record of academy teams in Checkatrade Trophy

Played Won Drawn Lost Win percentage

116

34

23

59

29%

Chelsea record in Checkatrade Trophy

Played Won Drawn Lost Win percentage

9

4

3

2

44%

The opposition

The Imps are currently ninth in League Two, two points adrift of the play-off positions following their promotion from the National League last term. It was their excellent form in 2016/17 that caught national interest, most notably during their run to the FA Cup quarter-finals as they beat Championship sides Ipswich Town and Brighton, as well as Premier League Burnley.

Danny Cowley’s side have been similarly impressive in the Checkatrade Trophy this season, winning six out of six and scoring 15 goals along the way. 


LINCOLN SCORERS

Green 12, Rhead 8, Anderson 7, Palmer 6, Bostwick 4, Ginnelly 3, Raggett 3, Frecklington 2, Knott 2, Maguire-Drew 2, Whitehouse 2, Woodyard 2, Rowe 1, Waterfall 1, Wilson 1

How to watch

Supporters wishing to attend can purchase tickets at the Sincil Bank ticket office on the day of the game priced at £10 for adults, £5 for concessions (over-60s, students or disabled) and £2 for under-18s. Away fans will be housed in the Lincoln University Stand, and then the Bridge McFarland Stand if more are required.

Kick-off is 7.45pm with the contest broadcast live on Sky Sports Football. There will also be updates throughout the evening on our official @chelseafc Twitter.

 

-The official Chelsea website will have the thoughts of development squad manager Joe Edwards tomorrow