Morecambe will become the 90th different team Chelsea have faced in the FA Cup. But who have we played the most, who do we have the best record against and who are our bogey side? We bring you all the facts and figures.
We have never met Morecambe on the pitch before this Sunday, meaning they will become the fourth different team we have played for the first time this season, following our three Champions League group opponents.
The League Two side also take the number of different clubs we have faced during our 106 FA Cup campaigns, including the current season, to 90. We have played 409 FA Cup fixtures in total, winning more than half of them with a very respectable 219 victories.
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- Pre-Match Briefing: Chelsea vs Morecambe
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We have played 69 of those 90 teams more than once in the competition and, of those 69 clubs we have faced twice or more, we remain unbeaten in the FA Cup against 29 of them.
Arsenal are our most frequent opponents, having met them 21 times in the FA Cup, including three finals. They have proven to be something of an unlucky draw for us, though, as the Gunners have won all three of those finals, the latest coming at Wembley last season, and their 10 victories overall in those 21 fixtures means they have knocked us out of the FA Cup more times than anyone else.
Behind Arsenal on the list of teams we have faced most often are two sides we have had different fortunes against. The Blues have played Manchester United and Sheffield Wednesday 17 times each, but the latter have only eliminated us twice, compared to the Old Trafford side’s nine.
Our nine FA Cup wins over Wednesday makes them the opponents we have enjoyed the most success against, with one more win over them than Hull City and two more than Liverpool and Leicester City. However, we have played Hull more times in the FA Cup without losing than anyone else, defeating them eight times, with replays in three of those ties to take the total number of matches to 11.
Fixtures against less common FA Cup opponents are usually a good sign, though. Of the 20 teams we have only played once before this season, we have only lost once and that was a 1-0 away defeat to Notts County in the fifth round in 1954/55. The pain of that exit was no doubt quickly forgotten as we won our first-ever top-flight league title a few months later.
Perhaps the closest comparison to this season’s match against Morecambe came in 2006/07, the last time we played our first match against new opponents in the FA Cup third round. Macclesfield Town were also in League Two when they came to Stamford Bridge for the first, and so far only, time.
On that occasion we opened our campaign with a comfortable 6-1 win, including a hat-trick from current Blues head coach Frank Lampard. It’s worth noting we went all the way in that season’s competition, beating Manchester United 1-0 in the final to lift the trophy.