Premier League giants Chelsea host Hull City, who play in the second tier of English football, this Friday night in the fifth round of the FA Cup 2017/18.
This clash will be the first FA Cup meeting between these two sides since a third-round match in December 1999; Chelsea won 6-1 away from home which is their joint biggest away win in the competition and the only time they have scored six goals.
Chelsea won 3-0 at home, against West Bromwich Albion last Monday, in their previous league game. Chelsea’s talisman, Eden Hazard, scored a brace for the blues, which ended their two-game losing streak in the league. Antonio Conte’s men won 3-0 against Newcastle United last month, in the fourth round of the FA Cup, to set up a fifth-round meeting against Hull.
Meanwhile, Hull City won with a two-nil victory against Nottingham Forest in the Championship, in their last game. Nigel Adkins’ men ended a nine-game winless streak in the league, with the win against Forest. The Tigers had previously defeated Nottingham Forest in the final week of January, in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Chelsea have progressed from nine of their last ten fifth round FA Cup ties, with the only loss to Manchester City back in 2014. The Blues have scored at least one goal in each of their last 44 FA Cup games at Stamford Bridge since the previous failures to score at home in March 1999. They scored 127 goals in the process averaging just under three goals per game.
The Tigers have won only three of their last FA Cup ties against Premier League sides, including 2014 final against Manchester City. However, they won their most recent FA Cup encounter with a top-flight side, which was 2-0 win against Swansea City in the third round of the competition last season.
In the Premier League, the Londoners are currently in the fourth position in the table with 53 points after game week 27. Meanwhile, Hull are currently 21st in the Championship table, just a place and a point above the relegation zone. At the moment, 36 teams separate these two clubs when it comes to ranking of English football.
In all competitions, the Blues have never lost at home with Hull City, winning 17 and drawing five. They have won each of their last four home games against the Tigers.
Chelsea have won each of their last six games against Hull City in all competitions, scoring at least two goals in every game.
Key Players To Watch
Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Chelsea’s attack, this season, are heavily relied on Eden Hazard. The mercurial Belgian is the top scorer for the blues in league with 11 goals to his name. He has scored three goals in his last two games.
Jarrod Bowen (Hull City)
Jarrod Bowen who has emerged as one of the bright young attacking talents of EFL Championship this season is expected to give Chelsea’s defense a hard time on Friday.
The 21-year-old has scored 12 goals in the English second division this season. The Englishman also managed a goal and an assist in the fourth round of the competition against Nottingham Forest.
Marcos Alonso has missed the last two league games with an ankle injury. The left-back is doubtful for Friday. Olivier Giroud is expected to feature despite concerns over his head injury. However, the Frenchman might only get a place on the bench as Alvaro Morata has returned from injury. Ross Barkley is carrying a hamstring injury.
Abel Hernandez is out with an Achilles tendon injury whereas, James Weir is out with a knee injury. Kamil Grosicki is a doubt. Former Spurs’ defender, Michael Dawson, is carrying a groin injury. The 34-year-old is doubtful for the clash against Chelsea.
Stephen Kingsley is back in training after spending more than four months on the sidelines. Ondrej Mazuch, Moses Odubajo, and Markus Henriksen complete a long injury list for the Tigers.
Chelsea vs Hull City Key Facts
Chelsea Vs Hull City Lineups ( Predicted XI)
Chelsea Lineup (3-4-3)
Defense: Rudiger (RCB), Christensen (CB), Cahill (LCB)
Midfield: Zappacosta (RM), Kante (RCM), Bakayoko (LCM), Emerson (LM)
Attack: Willian (RW), Hazard (LW), Morata (ST)
Defense: Aina (RB), Hector (RCB), MacDonald (LCB), Clark (LB)
Midfield: Larsson (CDM), Irvine (CDM), Bowen (RAM), Toral (CAM), Wilson (LAM)
Chelsea vs Hull City Match Prediction
Hull City are decent going forward, and they have scored 42 goals in the Championship this season, which is the most among the teams who are currently in the bottom half of the table.
The Tigers have also been impressive defensively in recent weeks. They have kept four clean sheets in their last seven matches.Therefore, Nigel Adkins side can trouble Chelsea, who have already lost to Watford and Bournemouth earlier this month.
However, Chelsea, with the quality they have, are expected to win the game. Our prediction is a 4-1 win for Chelsea.