Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Sunday, 10 January
Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
During his first stint in charge in 2009, Guus Hiddink led Chelsea to FA Cup glory in a 2-1 win over Everton. Having blown even a European place this season, he’s hoping for domestic silverware at least, so we can expect the current interim manager to field a strong side as we play host to Scunthorpe.
Although 14th in the Premier League, Chelsea are unbeaten in four for the first time this season and certainly played more in the manner we’d expect against Palace in their last game. Scunthorpe meanwhile sit 15th in League One after 25 games and have been in mixed form of late, winning three, drawing four, and losing three of their last 10 games in all competitions. Mind you, it’s worth noting they’re unbeaten on the road in four outings, so there’s no room for complacency on our part.
Going into today’s game, Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink insists “We take all the opponents very seriously, my team and myself. I think they are dreaming of getting a good result. We are well aware of who is playing and who can cause danger. We take it seriously.
The FA Cup means a lot because at that time it was the only silverware I won in this country. Fourth place in the Premier League is difficult, but one target is the FA Cup.”
Meanwhile, Scunthorpe boss Mark Robins says “We know it’s going to be tough because the likelihood is, if Chelsea turn up, we’ll lose. That’s not necessarily all it’s about though. We want to get through, so we’re not going there with a defeatist attitude, that’s for sure.
We know we’re playing against world-class players and we’re going to have to be absolutely ‘bob-on’ all game.”
For Chelsea, Radamel Falcao (groin), Loic Remy (calf) and Eden Hazard (groin) will all be missing through injury.
For Scunthorpe, Conor Townsend is cup-tied, Tom Hopper (shoulder) and Gary McSheffrey (knee) are doubts, whilst Paddy Madden is expected to be available.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Begovic; Baba, Zouma, Cahill, Ivanovic; Mikel, Ramires; Fabregas, Loftus-Cheek, Pedro; Costa.
SCUNTHORPE (Possible line-up): Daniels; Laird, Clarke, Canavan, Mirfin; Dawson, Bishop; Madden, Ness, Williams; van Veen.
Chelsea 3-1 Scunthorpe (8th January 2005)
~ Chelsea’s won the previous FA Cup game between the two sides January 2005
~ Scunthorpe have not beaten a top-flight side in the FA Cup since 1970
~ Chelsea have progressed from the third round in each of the past 17 seasons
~ Scunthorpe have conceded three or more goals in each of their past four FA Cup games against top-flight teams
~ Chelsea have won four of the last nine FA Cups.
~ Scunthorpe have only been beyond the 3rd round once since 2004.
~ Five of Scunthorpe’s six away defeats this season have been by the scoreline: 1-2
~ Only four teams have scored more goals in the opening 15 minutes of away matches than Scunthorpe in all four divisions.
A month ago Scunthorpe might have come into this as favourites but if we play like we did against Palace, we might be ok today.