The Blues are aiming to get the better of the Bees at the second time of asking. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton re-examine this west London affair…
The rest of round four may have been a bonfire of the vanities of Aston Villa, Liverpool, Norwich, QPR and Tottenham but Chelsea lived to fight again on Sunday only thanks to Fernando Torres's late strike.
Brentford's task in adding the FA Cup holders to that toll on Sunday at Stamford Bridge is a formidable one. Only once in 14 years of the tournament have the Blues not contested the fifth round.
Last season Championship Birmingham earned a draw at the Bridge that was followed up with a 2-0 success at St Andrew's en route to winning the trophy. In the third round of 2008/09, another FA Cup-winning season, League One Southend forced a replay that the Blues won 4-1 at Roots Hall. Second-tier Watford held Claudio Ranieri's Blues in 2004, only to go down 4-0 in the second game at the Bridge.
The last lower league team to beat Chelsea in a replay in this competition were Millwall in 1995, 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw on the Fulham Road.
It has been a year for the felling of Premier League timber - just six others made it into the fifth-round draw. One more will definitely progress no further as Manchester United have been pitted against Reading. Luton Town are only the seventh non-league club to have made it this far since World War Two.
All of which should have the surviving top-flight sides very excited. No team below the elite level has lifted the silverware since West Ham in 1980, victors over Arsenal.
It will be a fantastic occasion for Brentford's fans who fill the Shed End on Sunday for our first competitive meeting at Stamford Bridge for over 66 years. Their valiant players earned a mid-season break in Dubai to recharge the batteries after pushing the Blues all the way.
Since then they have lost to Yeovil, drawn with Bury and beaten Stevenage to stand sixth in League One, well within a tilt at the play-offs. Chelsea have drawn at Reading, lost at Newcastle and beaten Wigan and Sparta Prague.
There has to be a victor on Sunday. If the scores are level after 90 minutes, 30 minutes extra time will be played. If there is still no winner the tie will be decided on penalties.
This is the only tie left over from the fourth round - everyone else in cup action this weekend will play a fifth-round tie.
The winners of our game will play Middlesbrough in the fifth round at the Riverside on Wednesday 27 February.
The draw for the FA Cup quarter-finals is on Sunday at approx. 17.55 on FATV, ITV and ESPN, with the ties to be played on the weekend of 9/10 March. Should Chelsea beat Brentford we will share the ball number eight with Middlesbrough.
The full list is as follows:
1 Huddersfield Town or Wigan Athletic
2 MK Dons or Barnsley
3 Oldham Athletic or Everton
4 Luton Town or Millwall
5 Arsenal or Blackburn Rovers
6 Manchester City or Leeds United
7 Manchester United or Reading
8 Middlesbrough or Brentford or Chelsea
FA Cup fifth round fixtures
Luton v Millwall 12.45pm - ESPN
Arsenal v Blackburn 3pm
MK Dons v Barnsley 3pm
Oldham v Everton 6pm - ITV1
Chelsea v Brentford 12pm - ITV1 (fourth round replay)
Manchester City v Leeds 2pm - ESPN
Huddersfield v Wigan 3.55pm - ITV1
Manchester United v Reading 8pm - ESPN
Barclays Premier League fixture
Liverpool v Swansea 3pm
Click on tabs above for more briefing.
There are still some seats in hospitality areas available for the game.
WE HAVE HISTORY
Chelsea and Brentford meet for only the 13th time in competitive football. Ten of them were in the old First Division between 1935 and 1947.
George Wilkins - father of Chelsea's Ray, Graham and Steve - played for the Bees when we used to meet in the 1940s, and he featured in the last First Division encounter at Stamford Bridge on 9 November 1946.
Just ahead of the game, in a Daily Mirror poll to determine Britain's best XI, the readership had elected Tommy Lawton as centre-forward on a landslide: 77% of votes cast. Brentford's Bill Gorman just missed out in the full-back category.
And it was Lawton - one of Billy Birrell's recently acquired 'glamour gang' along with Tommy Walker, Len Goulden and Johnny Harris - who opened the scoring in the first half, although Caledonian Jimmy Bain caused the visitors immense problems down the left wing.
The Bees' defence held firm in the face of a battering, though, and Hopkins equalised for them against the run of play. Scores remained even until late on when stylish Scottish inside right Walker (pictured below) put the Blues ahead and Bain capped his fine afternoon with a third. Hopkins pulled another back for Brentford but too late in the day to affect the result.
Our last meeting at Stamford Bridge was over 66 years ago in the old First Division. Chelsea won 3-2 with goals from Tommy Walker, Tommy Lawton and Jimmy Bain. Idris Hopkins scored a brace for the Bees.
|Chelsea v Brentford at Stamford Bridge|
|1935/36||Chelsea won 2-1||Old First Division|
|1936/37||Chelsea won 2-1||Old First Division|
|1937/38||Chelsea won 2-1||Old First Division|
|1938/39||Brentford won 3-1||Old First Division|
|1946/47||Chelsea won 3-2||Old First Division|
Chelsea v Brentford in all competitions
Games played 12
Chelsea wins 6
Bees wins 4
Biggest win at Stamford Bridge for each team
Chelsea 3-2 Brentford - 09/11/1946 (Old Division One)
Chelsea 1-3 Brentford - 25/02/1939 (Old Division One)
Chelsea were beaten by a third-tier club in the FA Cup: 8,421
Brentford reached the FA Cup fifth round: 2,576
Arsenal won a trophy: 2,828
Liverpool won the league: 8,323
Visit again tomorrow for Part Two of the Briefing.