Fifth-Tier Chesterfield make the journey to the capital in an attempt to pull of what would be one of the greatest surprises in the history of the FA Cup. Can they do it, or will the mighty Chelsea have too much for the men from Derbyshire?
Chelsea will be seeking to avoid being on the wrong end of one of the FA Cup’s biggest ever upsets when non-league side, Chesterfield, make the trip to Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.
The Blues lost in the final of the last two editions of the competition, while the National League visitors have not progressed past round three for seven years.
The Premier League trophy may now be out of reach for Thomas Tuchel’s outfit, but Chelsea are now unbeaten in nine games in all competitions and ended a worrying run of home draws by easily seeing off Tottenham Hotspur in the EFL Cup on Wednesday.
Chesterfield also enter Saturday’s contest at Stamford Bridge in decent form, but the fifth-tier side’s resistance will be put to the ultimate test in west London, even if Tuchel selects an incredibly youthful setup.
For Chelsea, a combination of AFCON, COVID, and injury means that Edouard Mendy, N’Golo Kanté, Thiago Silva, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, Reece James and Trevoh Chalobah are all unavailable.
Therefore, Tuchel should hand youngsters like Harvey Vale, Lewis Hall, and Xavier Mbuyamba opportunities to impress.
For Chesterfield, Jamie Grimes is poised to deputise in the visitors injury-ravaged defence and 18-goal striker, Kabongo Tshimanga, who was born in the DRC, will be the focal point of the attack.
Chesterfield won’t to have to face Chelsea’s biggest names, but we still expect an annihilation in west London. Our prediction is 4-0 to the Blues, with 3 goals coming in the second half.
Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Bettinelli; Mbuyamba, Sarr, McClelland; Hudson-Odoi, Hall, Loftus-Cheek, Pulisic; Vale; Soonsup-Bell, Werner
Chesterfield possible starting XI:
Loach; Williams, Gunning, Whittle; King, Oyeleke, Mandeville, Weston, Miller; Tshimanga, Kahn