Everything you need to know about our return to action in the FA Cup third round this weekend…
It’s fourth in the Premier League versus fourth in the Championship on Sunday as Frank Lampard takes charge of the Blues in the FA Cup for the first time.
When and where
The match takes place at Stamford Bridge on Sunday 5 January. Kick-off is at 2.01pm. The kick-off of all third round matches in the FA Cup this weekend is being delayed by one minute from traditional kick-off times as part of the ‘Heads Up’ campaign.
Run in partnership between the FA and Heads Together, the initiative hopes to raise awareness of the importance of looking after our mental health, with 60 seconds representing just the first step in the journey to improved wellbeing.
Press conference info
Lampard will be speaking to the media at his customary pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon from approximately 1.30pm. There will be full coverage on this website, the 5th Stand app and our official @chelseafc Twitter. Here is a look at the topics that could be on the agenda...
Rotating the team
After four games in 11 days over the festive period, it is probable that changes in the starting 11 will be made for our third cup tie against Forest in three years. It is likely Lampard will be asked about the extent of his intention to freshen up the side, with the likes of Willy Caballero, Andreas Christensen, Ross Barkley and Michy Batshuayi all possibilities to come in.
January window update
As with every press conference over the coming month, Lampard will undoubtedly be asked to provide an update on his plans in the winter window. The Blues have been linked with a whole host of names in recent weeks, with the boss claiming recently that our business would be done behind closed doors. He is, therefore, likely to be pushed on whether any progress has been made with incomings or outgoings.
Lampard won the FA Cup four times as a player so will likely be asked to reminisce about his memories of the competition and what it takes to come through six rounds of knockout football to triumph.
Importance of the Cup
Lampard guided Derby County to the FA Cup quarter-finals last term, as well as recording a memorable Carabao Cup victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford, so his cup pedigree as a coach has good early signs.
However, with ambitions of a top-four finish in the Premier League and the Champions League last 16 still to come, there will also be a need to balance different competitions over the coming months and Lampard could be questioned on where he sees the FA Cup on his list of priorities.
Hunting for home comforts
Six wins in 15 home matches this season does not make for great reading and Sabri Lamouchi’s side will likely copy the blueprint of recent victors in SW6 by putting men behind the ball, organising themselves into a compact shape and threatening on the counter-attack.
Lampard has urged his side to be braver and more clinical after recent home defeats. They will need to improve on both fronts if a place in the fourth round is to be safely secured by Sunday evening and the boss could be pushed by the assembled journalists on how he plans to achieve those improvements in the side.
Latest Chelsea team news
Marcos Alonso missed the trip to Brighton with an ongoing muscle injury but could be back for the visit of Forest, while Reece James did recover in time to play 90 minutes in our 1-1 draw on the South Coast.
Olivier Giroud was another absentee at the Amex with a troublesome ankle problem and Fikayo Tomori did not feature in the matchday 18. Ruben Loftus-Cheek continues his rehabilitation from a long-term Achilles injury but remains some way off match fitness.
Latest Nottingham Forest team news
The Reds are without any new injury concerns following a three-match winning streak that has taken them back into the Championship play-off positions. Former Tottenham defender Michael Dawson has returned from a lay-off and was on the bench for their New Year’s Day victory over Blackburn so the 36-year-old may return to the starting 11 if the visitors decide to make changes.
Tendayi Darikwa is a long-term absentee, although Yohan Benalouane, Michael Hefele and Yuri Ribeiro may return.
How to listen live
Chelsea TV will be providing live audio commentary on the 5th Stand app and this website, plus there will also be live text commentary on both those platforms.
How to watch live
There will be no live TV coverage in the UK, although the tie has been selected for coverage by some international broadcasters. Highlights will be available on the 5th Stand app from two hours after the final whistle.
Referee and VAR
Peter Bankes is the man in charge of a Chelsea game for the first time, although the last Nottingham Forest match he refereed came in west London at Fulham in August. John Brooks is the VAR.