After last week’s win over London rivals Arsenal, Chelsea now take on Championship side MK Dons in the 4th round of the FA Cup on Sunday. Chelsea do not have fond memories of the FA Cup from last season as they were knocked out in this very round by League One side Bradford City and the Blues would like to ensure that such a thing does not happen again. Manager Guus Hiddink has already lifted the FA Cup in his first season in charge as Blues boss and will be hoping to do that once again.
Chelsea don’t have any chance of winning the Premier League and they are unlikely to lift the Champions League title as well so Chelsea’s best hope for silverware is the FA Cup and the players and the manager must be well aware of that which is why I expect Chelsea to play a strong team.
The game will take place in the back yard of MK Dons, Stadium MK on Sunday the 31st of January 2016 at 4 p.m. BST (9:30 IST)
Rob Hall returns for the hosts after he was ineligible to play against parent club Bolton last weekend. Kyle McFadzean also returns after serving a ban. Striker Nicky Maynard’s hamstring problem makes him a doubt for this game while Carl Baker, Matthew Upson and Ben Reeves are out and George Baldock is cup-tied.
Diego Costa is fit but fellow striker Loic Remy has been ruled out with a calf injury. Radamel Falcao is out as well but Pedro will return for the Blues after missing the Arsenal game due to illness. New signing Alexandre Pato could feature on the bench.
David Martin; Jordan Spence, Joe Walsh, Antony Kat, Dean Lewington; Darren Potter, Samir Carruthers, Dean Bowditch, Daniel Powell, Josh Murphy; Simon Church.
Asmir Begovic; Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill, Kurt Zouma, Baba Rahman; John Obi Mikel, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Oscar, Eden Hazard, Pedro; Diego Costa.
Diego Costa vs Joe Walsh: Chelsea striker Diego Costa has scored 6 goals in the last 6 games and it will be up to Walsh to ensure he doesn’t get a 7th.
Oscar vs Darren Potter: Potter sits at the base of the MK Dons midfield and it will be his responsibility to break down Chelsea’s passing in the final third and will have to keep midfielder Oscar in check.
MK Dons have won four of their previous 11 cup matches against Premier League opposition scoring four times in each victory.
Chelsea are appearing in the fourth round for the 18th consecutive season.
7-time winners Chelsea are unbeaten in their last eight matches in all competitions.
This is the first meeting between the clubs.
MK Dons: 21/2
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Stadium MK might possess a strong challenge for the Blues but they will be expected to come out on top against the number 20 side in the Championship even though Chelsea are themselves having a dismal domestic season.
Chelsea 2- 1 MK Dons