After returning to the team sheet and the scoresheet in recent weeks, Olivier Giroud is the cover star of today’s special FA Cup collectors’ edition matchday programme, which also features interviews with Billy Gilmour and Mark Hughes.
The Frenchman netted in our most recent domestic game at Stamford Bridge, breaking the deadlock in a 2-1 Premier League win over Tottenham, and has since started against Bayern Munich and Bournemouth.
He will be hoping for a repeat of his scoring performance against Liverpool in the Super Cup final in August when the two sides meet again in west London tonight.
Gilmour has been regularly involved under Lampard in the domestic cups this season and for this FA Cup programme, the 18-year-old features as the subject of our feature interview. The Scotland Under-21 international discusses his promising progress from the Academy to our senior setup, his decision to move from Glasgow to west London and some of the key moments in his career so far.
Lampard is hoping it’s third time lucky against Liverpool this season after two tight encounters in the autumn. ‘We’ve had two really close games with them already this season – well-contested matches, firstly in the Super Cup and then here in the league,’ the boss writes in his manager’s notes.
‘Even though, ultimately, we lost those games, we certainly matched them in a football sense and showed that we can compete with them when we’re at our best. So this is a third chance for us to get a result against them.’
As the boss calls for the players to be at their best, Azpilicueta believes the fans can play their part at the Bridge tonight. ‘I would like to mention your constant support in every game, home and away, even when results have not gone our way.
‘A big atmosphere is needed tonight and I am sure that every one of us will give the maximum we can to make sure we advance to the next round.’
The Journey Home focuses on our incredible comeback against Liverpool in the 1997 FA Cup fourth round, with one of our heroes that day talking us through his role in the comeback. Hughes scored the goal that kick-started our revival against Roy Evans’s men in one of the memorable cup ties at the Bridge in recent history.
Elsewhere in the programme, Leslie Knighton shares his Secrets of the Dressing Room from the 1930s and Ron Harris tells his side of the story from the day the Stamford Bridge crowd booed him for kicking Sir Stanley Matthews.
As always, there are also exclusive columns from our Women’s and Academy teams, with Emma Hayes focusing on the League Cup final win over Arsenal and Ed Brand covering the Under-18s’ progress to the FA Youth Cup semi-finals.
This season’s matchday programme remains at £3.50 and is available in and around Stamford Bridge, the Megastore and online. Cashless payment is now available from certain sellers.