Derby v CHELSEA: FA Cup Preview


Venue: Pride Park
Date: Sunday, 5 January
Kick-off: 14:15 GMT

After what turned into a really good win against Southampton in the league, it’s a trip away in the FA Cup this afternoon against an in-form Derby County. The Rams are currently fourth in the Championship and aside from their recent defeat to Wigan, seem to be favourites for promotion to the Premier League this season.
We’re not doing too badly either though, with our recent wins against Liverpool and Southampton keeping us just two points away from the top of the table.

 

MANAGER’S VIEWS
Ahead of this afternoon’s game, Derby coach Steve McClaren takes time out to praise the opposition manager, saying “I know Jose and we have had a few run-ins but he was very helpful when I was England manager because the majority of the players were Chelsea players, so I went to see him a few times. Jose is a players’ coach. He has a philosophy, a way of working and players have to adhere to that. His relationship with his players is very, very strong. That is his strength as well as obviously all the games he has assessed and analysed. You don’t win titles and the Champions’ League without doing that. He is the benchmark, I suppose. Sir Alex Ferguson always was the benchmark, Jose is now. If you can achieve as much as he has you will be some coach.”
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho meanwhile, says of the Derby coach “I’m happy to play against Steve, I’m happy to think back. I’m happy with his success in Holland with FC Twente. With full respect for the Championship, where very good managers are, I think Steve belongs to a different level. Hopefully he’s back to the Premier League soon. I’ll be happy with that.” Whilst romancing about the cup, Mourinho says “The FA Cup has a special feeling, a special meaning. I was lucky to win lots of trophies but to win the FA Cup at Wembley and feel what it means was one of my high moments in my career. I have a good feeling for the competition and the good things this country has in terms of football I think we have to keep them.”

 

SQUAD NEWS
For Derby, Johnny Russell (fractured cheekbone) is injured, whilst Craig Bryson (calf) faces a late test.
For Chelsea, Frank Lampard (muscular injury), Branislav Ivanovic (knee) and Marco van Ginkel (knee) all remain unavailable through injury. David Luiz is available again after suspension.

 

TEAMS
DERBY (Possible line-up): Grant, Buxton, Wisdom, Keane, Hendrick, Eustace, Forsyth, Hughes, Russel, Martin, Dawkins.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Schwarzer, Azpilicueta, Terry, Cahill, Cole, Luiz, Ramires, de Bruyne, Mata, Willian, Ba.

 

LAST MEETING
Chelsea 6-1 Derby (12 March 2008)

 

PREDICTION
So, we’ve played 6 times in the FA Cup, with two wins apiece and two draws so there’s not much between us there. We have won the FA Cup 7 times to Derby’s once though, and whilst they’ve lost all six of their FA Cup encounters with Premier League sides over the last 16 years, on current form Derby are the Championship’s top scorers with 48 goals and their recent home record has given them four wins out of last five. So, given the magic of the FA Cup, anything could happen today.

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