Gianfranco Zola says Derby loan duo Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori will benefit from playing against parent club Chelsea in the Carabao Cup.
Chelsea’s record goalscorer, Frank Lampard, returns to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday for the fourth-round tie as Rams boss, with midfielder Mount and defender Tomori available for selection against their parent club.
Mount, who was called up to the England squad in October, is hoping to overcome a foot injury to feature.
Many competitions do not permit loanees to feature against their parent clubs, but the Carabao Cup does, at the discretion of the parent club.
And Chelsea have made the step, assistant boss Zola says, to aid the development of the players.
“It’s not only that [Lampard being Derby boss],” Zola said.
“We believe that by playing against us is an opportunity for them to grow up quicker. The more they play against Premier League teams, the more experience they get.
“And we can make better evaluations on them. It was a great opportunity to see them play in front of us and we took the opportunity.
Chelsea vs Derby
October 31, 2018, 7:00pm
“There will also be a psychological component. They will have to play in front of a big crowd, the crowd of the team they belong to. It will give them a good test.”
Zola sees no reason why Mount and Tomori could not celebrate a Derby goal or victory.
“It’s down to them but why not? Hopefully they won’t celebrate too much,” he added.
But Zola also warned the stance Chelsea have taken on this occasion may not necessarily be repeated.
“In the future it does not mean we will keep doing that,” he said.
Watch Chelsea vs Derby in the Carabao Cup. Coverage begins on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event at 7pm on Wednesday.
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