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Blues ready for giant-killing Shrews

It may not be at the top of Jose Mourinho’s priorities this season but, having edged to a 2-1 victory against Bolton Wanderers in the third round, Chelsea visit League Two side Shrewsbury Town later this month.

A victory against the Shrews at the New Meadow would leave the Blues in the quarter-finals and with a great chance of winning the League Cup, in all its different guises, for the fifth time.

Chelsea Didier Drogba Eden Hazard 2014

A 2-1 victory against Arsenal in 2007 was Chelsea’s last triumph in this competition and, with a talented and deep squad, there is no reason why Mourinho should not be targeting this Cup as well.

But what is known about Shropshire’s leading football team?

Previous meetings

Chelsea last played the Shrews in 2003 and cruised to a 4-0 victory in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

In the dark days of second division football in the 1980s the two sides met 12 times with the honours being shared, each team winning five matches with the other two being drawn.

Interesting Shrews facts

Despite being in England, Shrewsbury have won the Welsh Cup on five occasions, the last time in 1985.

The Shrews left their home for 97 years, Gay Meadow, in 2007, but suffered relegation to League Two last term, although they are making a bold attempt to bounce back to League One at the first attempt.

Bobby Charlton made his last ever appearance as a player when he appeared as a guest for Town in a 1978 friendly against Zambia at Gay Meadow.

Giant-killing feats

Town have already beaten Leicester City and knocked out Championship clubs Blackpool and Norwich City to reach this stage of the competition although they remain the rank outsiders in the League Cup betting.

The Shrews’ most famous giant-killing act came in 2003 though when they knocked Everton out of the FA Cup.

Former Everton legend Kevin Ratcliffe was the Shrewsbury manager at the time while a very young Wayne Rooney was in the Toffees team.

Town managed to win 2-1, thanks to a late goal by Luke Jemson, but the Blues ended their run in the fourth round with that 4-0 drubbing.

It proved to be a disastrous league season for Town though as they eventually lost their Football League status and were relegated to the Conference. The Shrews then became one of the rare teams that made an immediate return to League Two when they beat Aldershot in the 2003/04 Conference play-off final.

Players to look out for

Managed by former Fleetwood Town boss Micky Mellon, Town had a busy summer, recruiting 16 new players as the squad that had been relegated in 2013/14 was broken up.

James Collins has made a good start to life back at the club following his return from Hibernian in the summer and has already found the net five times as has Andy Mangan, who Mellon knows from their time together at Fleetwood.