Chelsea and Fulham plan derby changes

Andre Villas-Boas plans to give Chelsea’s youngsters a chance to shine in Wednesday’s derby against Fulham in the Carling Cup.

Veteran striker Didier Drogba has been given the all-clear to return following his sickening collision in the match against Norwich over three weeks ago. 

Villas-Boas is tipped to start with Drogba and summer signing Romelu Lukaku up front and the Blues boss will definitely include highly-rated young midfielder Josh McEachran.

Ryan Bertrand is set to start at left-back and there may also be an outing for back-up goalkeeper Ross Turnbull.

Fulham manager Martin Jol is also planning to make changes for the third-round clash at Stamford Bridge, with deadline-day signing Bryan Ruiz set to feature.

Ruiz, who endured a difficult Premier League debut against Blackburn, is poised for another opportunity to impress as Andrew Johnson is injured and Bobby Zamora has been nursing an ankle problem.

Algerian defender Rafik Halliche, back at Fulham after his proposed move to Swansea fell through, was in line to play but is a doubt because of illness.

Centre-back Brede Hangeland and Whites captain Danny Murphy are among those likely to be rested, while Aaron Hughes and Bjorn Helge Riise are still sidelined.

Hughes, who limped off during the Blackburn game, could be fit for Saturday’s league match against West Brom.