League Cup Preview: Shrewsbury v Chelsea

Shrewsbury Town host Chelsea on Tuesday as the bottom-ranked team left in the League Cup meet the Premier League leaders.

Chelsea have been in superb form on all fronts this season and remain the only unbeaten team in the top four divisions of English football.

Only trips to Manchester - to face both City and United - have seen Jose Mourinho's men drop points in the Premier League this term, and the League Cup provides a chance to pick up an early piece of silverware.

Having beaten Bolton Wanderers in the last round, the draw has been kind to Chelsea so far and, while this competition may not be high on Mourinho's trophy wishlist for the season, the Stamford Bridge outfit will expect to be involved until the latter stages.

That said, the Chelsea manager will undoubtedly make a host of changes for the trip to face League Two opposition in Shropshire in the fourth round, with the fixture coming just two days after a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in the Premier League.

Star striker Diego Costa was forced to miss the draw with United with a hamstring problem and is unlikely to be risked at the New Meadow - not that Shrewsbury boss Micky Mellon will have been wishing the Spain international a speedy recovery.

According to Mellon, who served tea to the scores of fans who queued for tickets to the match earlier this month, the focus for Shrewsbury is on enjoying the experience of facing top-flight opposition.

"Now it’s all about a fantastic evening on Tuesday night, an evening in isolation where we can go and absolutely enjoy it and give everything we can," he said after Saturday's 2-1 victory over Portsmouth - their fourth consecutive win. 

"The stadium will be rocking, the TV cameras will be here and our players deserve to go and take part in a fantastic occasion, so we're really looking forward to it."

Shrewsbury, who have knocked out Premier League and Championship opposition in Leicester City and Norwich City so far, have won nine and drawn one of their 10 home fixtures in all competitions this season.

That record will be severely tested when Chelsea visit on Tuesday, so Mellon will be hoping the likes of top scorer James Collins can make the most of any opportunities that fall their way.

Shrewsbury could do worse than take inspiration from the exploits of Bradford City two seasons ago, when Phil Parkinson's men - then in League Two - made it to the final having eliminated Premier League sides Wigan Athletic, Arsenal and Aston Villa en route to Wembley.