Hughton's priority remains Premier League safety but he insists United do not see the Carling Cup as an irrelevance. And he will pick a team to beat the Premier League champions.
"I know what my team selections have been historically but we're taking the Carling Cup very seriously this season," he told the Sunday Sun.
"We know how difficult it will be to win it. And we certainly know how difficult it will be at Chelsea in the third round.
"But do we want to make progress? Absolutely we do."