Chelsea legend Frank Lampard visits Stamford Bridge as a manager for the first time in the EFL Cup fourth round, but the Blues’ unforgiving record against Football League clubs in the competition in recent years renders a fairytale return unlikely.

The west London outfit haven’t been halted in their search for second-string-silverware by a lower-league side since 2008 and they’re priced at just 1/7 to qualify for the quarter-finals at the expense of Derby, with the William Hill traders forecasting odds of 24/100 that they prevail in normal time.

In that time Chelsea have sent nine lower-division outfits packing in as many encounters, including a 3-1 away win against County at Pride Park during the second reign of Jose Mourinho.

Championship Nottingham Forest were the last side from a lower echelon to take on the Blues in the EFL Cup and they were thumped 5-1 for their troubles in September 2017.

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Any straws to clutch at for Lampard on his Stamford Bridge return?

Despite their heroics in knocking out Manchester United on penalties at Old Trafford in the previous round, the Rams are wagering as long as 4/1 to eliminate the side with which their greenhorn gaffer won 11 major trophies in 13 years, while they’re projecting at odds of 11/1 to win without recourse to extra time.

However, Chelsea’s defensive record against EFL Cup adversaries from lower strata is one source of encouragement – they’ve failed to keep a clean sheet against a team from divisions below the top flight in the competition for six successive ties.

Derby are 17/20 in the betting tips to bag over 0.5 goals in normal time, while they’re tipped at 8/5 to score exactly once in that time frame. This is the same amount as five of the Stamford Bridge side’s last six Football League opponents in the competition.

The thrashing dished out to Forest last term aside, the Blues have generally been pushed closer by those from lower rungs of the ladder on home turf too, winning the preceding three such ties at the Bridge by one-goal margins – Lampard’s men can be backed with a +2 goal handicap at EVS.

Check out the latest EFL Cup outright odds

What about the best way to bet on a Chelsea win?

Given the Blues are so short to gain a victory at the expense of their all-time leading goalscorer, it’s distinctly heartening to see they can be backed at 17/10 to win in a match in which both sides net.

As mentioned above, their last six EFL Cup victories over sides from the Championship or below have rewarded BTTS bettors, while MOL Vidi are the only side to fail to score across Chelsea’s last five Stamford Bridge engagements.

Those in search of a bigger price are pointed in the direction of the Enhanced Odds about Ruben Loftus-Cheek to score in a win for Maurizio Sarri’s men where both sides bag, which has been boosted from 9/2 to 11/2 to punt on.

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