SAINTS’ Nathan Redmond is unfazed by facing European champions Chelsea in the last 16 of the Carabao Cup, insisting: “At some point, you have to play a few of the big boys.”

Under manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, Saints have managed to hold up a pretty decent record against London-side Blues with only one defeat in the last five meetings.

In the last three clashes at Stamford Bridge – where the cup tie will be played – Saints had a 2-0 victory sandwiched by a 0-0 and 3-3 draw, dating back to January 2019.

But the side have gone from strength to strength under German gaffer Thomas Tuchel, with the arrivals of the likes of superstar Romelu Lukaku to bolster an already impressive squad meaning some of the other talent have been given a bit-part role and could be fresh to face Saints.

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But Redmond said: "At some point, you have to play a few of the big boys.

"Last time we played against them, at home, we played pretty well to be honest. They are European champions, respectfully, so it is going to be a good test.

"As I said before, if you play any team in the league compared to a cup, it is a completely different game. You look at from when United played West Ham the other day, it was a completely different result.

“Having that balance to be able to chop and change the squads does make cup games that little bit more often."

It will be the second trip Saints make to Chelsea in October, after already visiting on Saturday 2 in Premier League action – something that occurred during last season’s cup runs with back-to-back games against Arsenal and Wolves.

Redmond added: "I don't think it changes things too much, it is not as if we are changing managers, both teams still have the same managers and I think the process of how both managers want the team to operate will still be the same.

"I just think that the quality of players, it doesn't necessarily go down, but it may not be the first choice, so essentially that is why the games tend to be a bit more open.

"There is just something about cup ties and there is something in the air, whether you are a League Two team playing against a Premier League side, or a Premier League side playing against a League One or League Two side, there is just something in the air that anything can happen on any given day."