The Cup serves up the Blues’ first Sunday action since early November. Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton preview our lunchtime hosting of the team from Tyneside…
We slip smoothly from a disappointing trip in one cup, to the comforts of home in another, as Chelsea aim to reach round five of the FA Cup for the 22nd time in 27 attempts. Hopefully the luck that deserted Antonio Conte’s men on the two rascal goals for the home side at the Emirates will return for Sunday lunchtime.
The defeat by Arsenal was Chelsea’s first in 14 games in all competitions since West Ham at the beginning of December. It was only the second reverse in 22 matches. The result now means the Gunners have reached 13 cup finals in the past 22 years, while the Blues have made it to 18.
This weekend brings the third 1.30pm start of the season for the seven-time FA Cup winners, and a difficult piece of scheduling for visiting Newcastle supporters – their 3,000 allocation was understandably placed on general sale this week. The Blues, though, seem to enjoy a time slot that has delivered six wins and no losses in nine games going back to 2013.