Barnsley v Chelsea
Thursday 11 February, 20:00
Live on BBC1
Barnsley contemporary for giant conflict
Barnsley are the lowest-ranked staff left within the FA Cup, mendacity twelfth within the Championship, and reached the fifth spherical with residence wins over Tranmere of League Two and Championship leaders Norwich.
Valerien Ismael’s squad have had loads of time to relaxation and put together for this conflict, having final performed on January 30 once they had a goalless draw at Nottingham Forest.
Just as importantly, the Oakwell groundstaff have had a couple of days to get the pitch playable after final weekend’s sport towards Derby was known as off as a consequence of waterlogging.
Ismael has his common first-teamers obtainable and mortgage striker Daryl Dike may make his first look at some stage.
Chelsea face bodily battle
Chelsea have began with three wins and a draw for Thomas Tuchel within the Premier League, elevating them to fifth within the desk and again into competition for Champions League qualification.
This is Tuchel’s first style of English cup competitors and his evaluation of the opposition can have left him in little doubt of the bodily risk posed by Barnsley’s direct fashion of play.
He may additionally pay attention to Barnsley’s well-known quarter-final 1-0 win over Chelsea, then the cup holders, again in 2008 at Oakwell.
Tuchel has loads of choices for his staff choice however shall be with out centre-back Thiago Silva and there are doubts over Kai Havertz, Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic.
This is the second cup assembly between these sides this season and Chelsea had no downside first time, profitable 6-0 at Stamford Bridge within the third spherical of the EFL Cup. Both golf equipment have modified supervisor since then, with Ismael changing Gerhard Struber and Tuchel taking up from Frank Lampard.
Both golf equipment put out second-string groups within the EFL Cup and ought to be stronger now, particularly Barnsley provided that their fall-off in high quality is way steeper than Chelsea’s as they go down their squad. Fielding their common first-team line-up is the hosts’ greatest hope of giving Chelsea extra of a sport this time.
One measure of how Barnsley may fare right here is to have a look at their report towards the higher groups within the Championship and it does not present a lot encouragement.
They have misplaced seven out of eight towards the highest six, all to nil. The exception was a 1-0 residence win over Watford, who’re the worst away facet among the many high group.
Chelsea have received away of their newest two matches beneath Tuchel, 1-0 at Tottenham and 2-1 at Sheffield United, and there’s each likelihood they are going to get again to the sturdy away type they’d for Lampard early within the season.
Their report within the first 9 away video games in all competitions was W6 D3 L0 however then their type abandoned them in December and January, resulting in Lampard’s departure.
Tuchel has strengthened the defence, with Chelsea conceding just one aim and permitting simply 5 photographs on the right track in his first 4 video games, and that appears an excellent platform on which to construct.
Chelsea are 1.331/3 to win however many punters will look to enhance these odds.
One choice is a Chelsea win to nil at 2.26/5, which appears fairly good at odds-against given how tight Tuchel has made them and with Barnsley’s issue scoring towards the higher groups they’ve confronted this season.
Over 2.5 goals is favourite at 1.548/15 but it surely may all rely on Chelsea if their new-found defensive solidity beneath Tuchel continues and Barnsley as soon as extra wrestle to create alternatives towards higher-level opponents.
There is a few danger in that state of affairs if Chelsea get in a cushty place and take their foot off the fuel.
Barnsley have had beneath 2.5 targets in seven of their eight video games this season towards the Championship high six, however this can be a a lot greater stage towards a facet with Champions League pedigree and it may flip right into a mismatch like this season’s EFL Cup assembly.
Since beating Liverpool (2-1) and Chelsea (1-0) en path to reaching the semi-final in 2007-08, Barnsley have misplaced their final 5 FA Cup ties towards Premier League sides by an mixture rating of 2-15. Chelsea are 2.427/5 off -2 on the Asian handicap to safe a clear-cut win.