Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed he will include four of the club’s talented youngsters against Newcastle in tonight’s Carling Cup third round tie at Stamford Bridge.
Defender Jeffrey Bruma, midfielder Gael Kakuta, striker Daniel Sturridge and full-back Patrick van Aanholt will all start against the Magpies.
“It is a good experience for them to play this kind of game,” said Ancelotti.
“They are involved this season more compared to last season and when there is an opportunity I want to give them the opportunity to play and show their quality.
“Sturridge played in the Champions League, Kakuta played two games, Bruma played in the last game against Blackpool and they will get more opportunities to play.
“The Academy has done a good job in the last years and now we have the young players ready to play in our squad. Obviously against Newcastle it is important to win to maintain a good atmosphere but the most important thing is that these players can show their quality for the team.”
Regular first-team players including goalkeeper Petr Cech, Ashley Cole, John Mikel Obi, Michael Essien and Didier Drogba will all be rested.
“Some players we had involved in the last games and I will give them a rest to prepare well for the next games,” added Ancelotti.
One key figure is likely to return however with captain John Terry expected to come back from a rib injury that prevented him from playing against Blackpool.
However, England midfielder Frank Lampard remains sidelined with a hernia problem.
“JT is fit to play and maybe can play tomorrow for 45 minutes which could help Bruma, but Lampard is not available,” confirmed Ancelotti.
Terry insists the club’s ’young guns’ are beginning to make their mark on the first team.
“We have a great squad of players mixed with some very good young players who are making their mark on the team,” said Terry.
“These opportunities are not only great for them but also for our youth system and credit goes to everyone working hard in the academy.
“The manager has spoken about the importance of strength in our squad this season and competition for places is always a good thing.”
Chelsea are currently four points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier having scored 21 goals, 25 in all competitions, and Terry wants to see their fine start continue, especially with tough league games against Manchester City and Arsenal coming up.
“We’ve started well, we’re passing the ball with confidence at the moment and getting at teams in behind when we can,” added Terry.
“But the important thing is we don’t stop doing these things because while a good start is obviously important. It is going to come down to consistency at some point and we know all about that from experience here.”