Date: Sunday 21st February, 2016
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 16:00 GMT
After a poor start against PSG midweek, Chelsea found enough fire in their belly to come out of it with an away goal and only a marginal defeat. Back at home now, today’s FA cup fourth round tie sees us play host to Man City and whilst we’ve got our Champions League game out of the way, City will come into today’s game with one eye on their game Wednesday.
From what I hear though we probably shouldn’t get too excited at the idea of Pellegrini fielding a load of youngsters today because it sounds as if they’d give this season’s first XI a run for their money.
Going into today’s game, Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink says “I will make hardly any changes because we take the FA Cup very seriously. Winning the FA Cup is a prestigious prize in England but also worldwide.”
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini meanwhile, says “We have just 13 (senior) players available to play. We have to play Champions League on Wednesday. We’ll see the best team we can play on Sunday. Young players have the option and they must take their chances. For me the priority is always the next game but we must make an exception now because of so many injuries. We never think about four trophies – we go game by game.”
For Chelsea, Falcao and Zouma are both out and John Terry (hamstring) isn’t expected to feature. Pato still isn’t fit.
For City, Fabian Delph, Jesus Navas, Samir Nasri and Kevin de Bruyne remain out but Vincent Kompany returns. Wilfried Bony and Eliaquim Mangala get late assessments and Bacary Sagna could play some part.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois; Rahman, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill; Matic, Fabregas; Loftus-Cheek, Hazard, Oscar; Costa.
MAN CITY (Possible line-up): Caballero; Zabaleta, Clichy, Otamendi, Kompany; Fernando, Toure, Silva, Sterling; Aguero, Iheanacho
Man City 3-0 Chelsea (16th August 2015)
MAN CITY: WDWWLL
~ Chelsea are in the fifth round for the 16th time in 18 seasons.
~ Chelsea’s only defeat in the last 29 FA Cup games at home was against Stamford Bridge Bradford last season
~ Six of their seven FA Cup trophy wins have come in the last 19 years.
~ Chelsea have won five FA Cup finals in the 21st century
~ Guus Hiddink has won all five of his FA Cup matches in charge of Chelsea.
~ City won the trophy for the fifth time in 2011
~ City have not lost an away tie in the FA Cup for six years
~ City beat Premier League opposition away in each of the previous two rounds
After our away defeat in the Champions League midweek, it’s apparent The Hiddink ‘pattern’ only applies in the league, so I’m a bit lost today. Obviously City had an easy ride in our last meeting but we’re in a slightly better place now. We’re still a way off being either our former selves or anything like consistent though, so honours even is probably the most we can hope for.