Everton visit the Bridge tonight for an FA Cup fourth round replay, Jose Mourinho’s first replay as Chelsea manager.
The Toffees have continued their good form since holding us to a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park, recording a draw and a win against Wigan and Manchester City respectively.
Our form during the last ten days has mirrored the Toffees’: a third successive 1-1 draw at Villa Park had many falsely believing the title race was back on; but a fourth straight Premiership win over Liverpool at the Bridge on Sunday dispelled that myth.
In team news, we’ll be without Damien Duff, who pulled a muscle during his five-minute substitute appearance on Sunday. Didier Drogba remains unavailable due to his involvement in the African Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast (scored the winning goal in yesterday’s semi-final against Nigeria), while Paulo Ferreira is doubtful with a thigh injury and Carlton Cole is struggling with a groin injury.
Shaun Wright-Phillips and Carlo Cudicini could be given rare starts, while Joe Cole, who was yesterday named PFA Player of the Month for January, may be preferred to Arjen Robben.
Prediction: Another classic English Cup tie? Let’s hope so. It’s difficult to envisage us losing — the Toffees haven’t beaten us at the Bridge in 11 League and Cup visits, since a 0-1 success on 26 November 1994 — but stranger things have happened. Everton are unbeaten in nine, resilient and tough to beat and it wouldn’t surprise me if the match goes to extra-time. Hopefully penalties will not be required!
Tickets were still available on Monday. The match is also being shown live on BBC One.
- Mourinho expects ‘enthusiastic’ replay
- Moyes says champions are getting better
- Forgotten man Cudicini reaches for sky
Chelsea 4 – 1 Everton · Update
It’s nice to be so wrong. A great performance. Robben’s goal was sublime: 3 players, 2 passes, 5 touches, 1 goal… awesome. Shaun Wright-Phillips was his old self, which was a delight to see. John Terry continues to amaze — what a strike! Colchester here we come.
And Charlton did Liverpool at the Valley. You couldn’t ask for a more perfect evening’s football.
Email me via the Contact form if you’d like a copy of the BBC’s goal highlights file (1 minute approx. Real Media video).
Match reports: BBC Sport; Sky Sports; ESPNSoccernet; Sporting Life; Official Chelsea FC Website; The Guardian; The Independent; The Times; Daily Telegraph.
- Robben keeps Chelsea in sight of treble
- Chelsea are on their way to… Cardiff
- Reaction: Clarke happy for first-class Shaun
- Fifth round date and ticket news
- Chelsea hold off re-laying pitch
- Terry leads call for Chelsea’s fair dues
- Resurgent winger gives Eriksson timely hint