Chelsea Continue FA Cup Defence against Sheffield Wednesday

David Luiz

Chelsea return to FA Cup action this weekend following Thursday night’s epic Carabao Cup semi-final victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

Chelsea Continue FA Cup Defence against Sheffield Wednesday

The fourth round draw threw up another home tie for The Blues, with Sheffield Wednesday the visitors to Stamford Bridge.

It will be the third time Chelsea have entertained Championship opposition this season, having faced Derby in the Carabao Cup fourth round and Nottingham Forest two weeks ago in the third round of this competition.

The Blues will be expected to progress further, but the beauty of the FA Cup is that anything can happen.

Team News

It looks as if everybody came through the Spurs unscathed. The question on the tip of every Blues fans tongue is, though, whether we will see Gonzalo Higuain make his debut.

The Argentine striker is in line to make some sort of appearance on Sunday. Whether he will start straight away remains to be seen. Maurizio Sarri will look to utilise his squad as the fixtures are starting to come thick and fast.  The Blues face a Premier League trip to Bournemouth next Wednesday.

Maurizio Sarri is likely to field a similar starting line-up to the one against Nottingham Forest. Willy Caballero is expected to start, at the back Andreas Christensen is likely to come in to give either Antonio Rudiger or David Luiz a break and Davide Zappacosta is another name expected to be on the teamsheet.

In midfield, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is battling with fitness issues to be available. Ethan Ampadu impressed in the last round in a midfield role, and another start will further improve the youngster’s confidence and increase his growing reputation.

Lucas Piazon was a surprise inclusion in the squad on Thursday. Although the Brazilian was an unused substitute, Sarri must see something in the 24-year-old to have included him. There’s every chance he’ll get another chance on Sunday.

Wednesday are likely to stay unchanged from the team that beat Wigan last weekend. The 1-0 win at Hillsborough was their first league victory since Boxing Day. Steve Bruce is still getting a feel for things in South Yorkshire since taking over three weeks ago. The tie offers a challenge without expectancy, and the former Manchester United defender will approach the game with an open mind. It’s a chance for players to impress on the big stage.

Memories of FA Cup Past

January 1994 saw the club’s pitted together for a fourth-round tie at Stamford Bridge. A 1-1 draw, with goals from Graham Hyde for The Owls and Gavin Peacock for The Blues, saw the tie go to a replay at Hillsborough.

Chelsea prevailed thanks to goals from John Spencer, Craig Burley and Peacock in a 3-1 win, with Mark Bright responding for the hosts. The Blues went on to enjoy a memorable cup run that saw them reach their first major final since the 1970s. Unfortunately, a 4-0 defeat against Manchester United ended the dream, but many people see that run under the management of Glenn Hoddle as the start of what Chelsea are now.

Prediction

Chelsea will be buzzing after Thursday’s victory. The Owls have been inconsistent this season, and a trip to West London will prove difficult for them. The Blues’ fringe players will want to make the most of an opportunity to impress.

Scoreline: Chelsea 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday

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