Chelsea - Leicester City Preview: Blues are unbeaten in their last 22 home FA Cup ties
The Stamford Bridge side will be looking to build upon their dramatic Champions League progression to secure a place in the domestic tournament's semi-final at Wembley
By Alex Young
Bosingwa, Cahill, Terry, Cole
Ramires, Lampard, Kalou
St Ledger, Bamba, Morgan, Konchesky
Dyer, Wellens, Danns, Gallagher
Interim Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo could be set to make a few changes to the side that emerged victorious during their dramatic extra-time victory over Napoli in the Champions League during mid-week.
John Terry and David Luiz are both facing a race against time to be fit for the fixture. The former England captain has not long returned to the side after undergoing knee surgery but picked up a knock in midweek as did Luiz who is struggling with an ankle problem also sustained during the game against the Italians.
Gary Cahill, could, therefore come back into the starting lineup and Raul Meireles is also available for selection once again after returning from suspension.
Leicester left-back and former Liverpool man Paul Konchesky returns from a three-match suspension after earning a red card in the game against Coventry earlier in the month. He faces a battle, however, with Tom Kennedy who has deputised in his absence and has gone onto make a decent impression.
Matt Mills, Lee Peltier, Steve Howard and Jeff Schlupp are all pushing for returns to the starting eleven while Danny Drinkwater, Conrad Logan and Liam Moore are all cup-tied for Nigel Pearson’s side.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Roberto Di Matteo has now overseen three straight wins since taking over the Chelsea reins from sacked former manager Andre Villas-Boas, who won just one of his last seven matches at the club.
- Chelsea have won all of the last five meetings with the Foxes, with the latest a 4-3 success in the League Cup back in October 2007.
- The Blues are unbeaten in 22 home FA Cup games, excluding penalty shoot out defeats.
- Chelsea have scored a 90th minute goal in three of their last four clashes with tomorrow’s opposition, with two of those goals turning draws into wins
- Both teams go into the game with different managers to the ones that they started the season with. Sven Goran Eriksson and Andre Villas-Boas were both sacked for a perceived under-performance in the league.
- Leicester have been woefully inconsistent this campaign and have won four and lost three of their last seven league games.
- The Foxes have kept five clean sheets in six previous away FA Cup sixth round games, excluding replays, conceding just one in the other.
- Jermaine Beckford (pictured right) is the competition's top goalscorer after netting five goals in the FA Cup so far this season.
- The FA Cup has proven a fruitful competition for Beckford in the past too, and the former Everton striker has scored 14 goals in his last 15 FA Cup appearances.
- If Leicester emerge from the tie as victors, it will mark the first time that they have been FA Cup semi-finalists in 30 years.
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Top 3 Predictions
Chelsea FC 3-0 Leicester City
- 35.53 %
Chelsea FC 2-0 Leicester City
- 13.81 %
Chelsea FC 4-0 Leicester City
- 13.06 %
|FA Cup (FA)||18 Mar 2012||Chelsea FC 5 - Leicester City 2|
|Capital One Cup (CCUP)||31 Oct 2007||Chelsea FC 4 - Leicester City 3|
|19 May 2013||Chelsea FC 2 - Everton 1||EPL|
|15 May 2013||Benfica 1 - Chelsea FC 2||EL|
|11 May 2013||Aston Villa 1 - Chelsea FC 2||EPL|
|8 May 2013||Chelsea FC 2 - Tottenham 2||EPL|
|5 May 2013||Manchester United 0 - Chelsea FC 1||EPL|
|Returns:||Chelsea £13.33||Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
|Returns:||Draw £360.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Leicester City £710.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|
|-||Sean St Ledger||Defender|
What more can you say about Torres’ form? He desperately needs a goal and notched the unenviable landmark of 24 hours without netting against Napoli.
We have been saying it for weeks but his luck could turn this weekend. It has to, surely? Facing a Championship side might just help.
The former Everton striker, who made a surprise move back to the Championship in the summer, has pace to burn, while possessing a willingness to run in the channels and chase down loose balls.
He has previous when it comes to goals against heavily-fancied FA Cup opposition, netting for Leeds back in 2009 against Manchester United at Old Trafford in a 1-0 win.
Chelsea’s mid-week exertions could have a part to play as the game wears on and Di Matteo will have to be mindful that neither fatigue nor complacency set in, but they should have enough in the tank to see off an inconsistent Leicester outfit.