Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Saturday 24 January
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
After Liverpool ran themselves ragged to get a draw out of us at Anfield in the League Cup midweek, today it’s the FA Cup and a home game against League One side Bradford.
Bradford beat Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa on their way to the 2013 League Cup final but it doesn’t sound as if Jose Mourinho would accept that sort of outcome today. Still, as we saw at Cambridge last night – anything can happen in the FA Cup!
Going into today’s game, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says “To help the title race, the best thing is to lose against Bradford and to lose against Liverpool and to lose against Paris St-Germain and to play only Premier League until the end of the season. But not with us. Not with our mentality, not with our way of thinking about our job, not with Chelsea DNA.The other day, a coach of a big team was knocked out of the cup and he was saying ‘good, very good, this is perfect for us, now we can focus on the other competitions’. If I lose against Bradford I don’t say that. I say it’s a disgrace.”
Phil Parkinson meanwhile, says “We’re certainly not going to go there and sit back for the whole game. We have to make sure we’ve got the opportunity to attack them. We’ve got players in our team who I hope will cause Chelsea problems.”
For Chelsea, Captain John Terry and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will be rested, replaced by Kurt Zouma and Petr Cech.Andre Schurrle and Mohamed Salah are involved after being linked with moves.
For Bradford, Brad Halliday and Francois Zoko will be included, as will Matty Dolan (hamstring) following his recovery. Jordan Pickford is ineligible, so Ben Williams will take his place in goal. Andrew Davies should be fit to start after shaking off a knock and Billy Clarke (knee) is available again.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Cech, Ivanovic, Zouma, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Matic, Fabregas, Willian, Schurrle, Oscar, Remy
BRADFORD (Possible line-up): Williams, Darby, McArdle, Davies, Meredith, Morals, Liddle, Halliday, Knott, Stead, Clarke
Chelsea have only lost two of their last 34 FA Cup matches
Chelsea have won 23 and lost none of their last 27 FA Cup matches at Stamford Bridge in normal play.
Bradford have lost their last 12 visits to Stamford Bridge .
Chelsea and Bradford have met only once in the FA Cup, back in 1912 when the Bantams won 2-0.