It’s been a tough Premier League season for Chelsea, yet they’ve found more success in knockout tournaments and are eyeing a trophy double as they start their FA Cup journey against Preston North End at Stamford Bridge.
Despite Todd Boehly’s significant investment in the squad, Chelsea are still trailing behind England’s top teams, currently 10th in the league, a staggering 17 points behind leaders Liverpool.
However, there have been glimpses of brilliance, like the exhilarating 4-4 draw with Manchester City. They’re also tipped to reach the League Cup Final, facing Championship team Middlesbrough in the semi-finals, a two-legged tie where Mauricio Pochettino’s team is expected to progress, potentially setting up a final with Fulham or Liverpool.
Chelsea fans are hopeful of another trip to Wembley in the FA Cup, and their journey starts at home against Preston in the third round.
Preston’s recent form has been disappointing, slipping down the Championship table with four losses in their last five matches, leaving them five points shy of the play-off spots.
Ryan Lowe’s team have failed to score in recent defeats to Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland, not an ideal preparation for a clash with a Premier League titan.
While Chelsea at Stamford Bridge may not be the daunting challenge it once was, it would still be a major upset if Preston managed to knock Pochettino’s side out in the FA Cup’s early stages.
Betting Odds Despite inconsistent performances this season, Chelsea are heavy favourites for this match, priced at 1/5 with Bet365. Preston North End are long shots at 16/1 and a draw is at 7/1 with Bet365.
Key Players Christopher Nkunku, having only started once since his return to fitness, might be given a full 90 minutes by Pochettino in this match. The ex-RB Leipzig player, with one goal in four appearances, is 23/20 to score anytime.