PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: DERBY COUNTY V CHELSEA
The start of the FA Cup for Chelsea pits us against Championship opposition for the first time this season. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton are ready for the third round to commence…
Sunday's televised 2.15pm kick-off at the former Pride Park - the iPro Stadium since December - is a 33,000 sell-out. Chelsea have a formidable record in this competition to defend and have not lost at this stage for 16 years. The 2007 FA Cup was the last trophy lifted by Jose Mourinho during his first spell at Stamford Bridge, a Drogba goal defeating Manchester United on the new Wembley's debut as a cup final venue.
Rams head coach Steve McClaren has described this match as a 'bonus' and the mind-set may have changed following Wednesday's 0-1 home defeat by mid-table Wigan Athletic (a side managed by Uwe Rosler, who steered Brentford to a fourth-round draw against the Blues in last season's competition).
That New Year's Day defeat dented the Rams' genuine promotion aspirations and they slipped to fourth. No doubt the former England coach would rank the league higher in his priorities than a cup competition where success is likely to be more elusive.
The FA Cup will allow some less regular starters to show Mourinho what they are made of while others put their feet up after an intense four matches over 10 days in the Premier League.
A hat-trick of wins from Chelsea's three games before the third round of this competition was last achieved back in 2005/06 when the Pensioners went on to secure a second consecutive title win under the Portuguese.
Following the highly impressive showing at Southampton Mourinho made a point of thanking his entire squad for their contribution over the festive period. His brilliantly effective double substitution worked, he said, partly because the hard work put in by Juan Mata and Andre Schurrle had fatigued the Saints for Oscar and Willian to run at and exploit space.
Fernando Torres's instinctive opener was the first away league goal by a striker since his brace at Sunderland on 8 December 2012. Oscar's strike was the Blues' 12th in the last five away league trips.
Despite plying their trade one level below, Derby have been in fine form and will present a severe challenge on Sunday. Former Derby player McClaren was for a few months on Harry Redknapp's coaching staff at QPR before accepting the role in the east Midlands in September.
Although he has tasted victory against Chelsea just once in 10 meetings, the Yorkshireman has caused the Londoners problems in the past with his tactical nous, as Mourinho will attest.
In February 2006 the team that would lift the Premier League a few weeks later was humbled 3-0 by McClaren's Middlesbrough. The goalie that day was Mark Schwarzer, a likely starter for the Blues this weekend.
Derby have progressed from the third round of this competition every season but one of the last nine. The anomaly was in 2011 when they lost 1-2 away to Conference side Crawley Town.
The Wigan setback was their first loss since early November, a run of nine games, only their second under the former England manager's tutelage and the first on home soil.
Their recent success has been founded in part on young loan signings such as defender Andre Wisdom from Liverpool, Manchester United's Michael Keane, fellow centre-back Zak Whitbread of Leicester, and wide forward Simon Dawkins of Spurs.
If the scores are level after 90 minutes there will be a replay at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday 15 January kick-off 7.45pm subject to selection for television coverage.
The draw for the fourth round of the FA Cup takes place on Sunday prior to our tie kicking off, at around 2pm and will be broadcast on ITV 1. For the winner, the next round will take place over the weekend of 25/26 January.
Chelsea in the FA Cup
Winners: 1970, 1997, 2000, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012
Runners-up: 1915, 1967, 1994, 2002
Semi-finalists: 1911, 1920, 1932, 1950, 1952, 1965, 1966, 1996, 2006, 2013
|Last 10 seasons in the FA Cup|
|Season||Round reached||Defeated by|
|2010/11||Fourth||Everton (penalty shoot out)|
Chelsea last lost a third-round tie in 1998 when Manchester United beat us 5-3 at Stamford Bridge. Since then our third round games have been:
|1999||Oldham Athletic (a)||W 2-0|
|2000||Hull (a)||W 6-1|
|2001||Peterborough (h)||W 5-0|
|2002||Norwich (a)||D 0-0, (h) W 4-0|
|2003||Middlesbrough (h)||W 1-0|
|2004||Watford (a)||D 2-2, (h) W 4-0|
|2005||Scunthorpe (h)||W 3-1|
|2006||Huddersfield (h)||W 2-1|
|2007||Macclesfield (h)||W 6-1|
|2008||QPR (h)||W 1-0|
|2009||Southend (h)||D 1-1 (a) W 4-1|
|2010||Watford (h)||W 5-0|
|2011||Ipswich (h)||W 7-0|
|2012||Portsmouth (h)||W 4-0|
|2013||Southampton (a)||W 5-1|
Barnsley, in 2008, were the last team outside the Premier League to beat us in the FA Cup.
Frank Lampard is our all-time top scorer in the FA Cup with 26 goals.
Top FA Cup scorers
Lampard 26, Tambling 25, Bentley 21, Osgood 19, Drogba 12, Terry 11, Zola 11, Gudjohnsen 10, Houseman 10
|Last six results|