Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
Chelsea V Scunthorpe United
Sunday 10th January. 2PM. BT Sport 2
It’s FA Cup weekend and the highlight of Sunday’s action sees Guus Hiddink’s Chelsea welcome Scunthorpe United to Stamford Bridge in what could be a potentially banana skin for the Premier League champions.
Chelsea were on the wrong end of an incredibly dramatic upset in last year’s competition as they fell to Bradford in round four. Will they suffer a similar fate in round three of this year’s edition, or will the Blues fire a signal of intent regarding their cup aspirations?
Whatever happens, every Chelsea game is a fascinating watch right now, and this should be no different.
Resurgent Chelsea To Show Extra Quality
It has been a horrible season for the Blues both on and off the pitch, but they enter this clash on the back of a four-game undefeated run and should be confident about making their quality count here.
Hiddink did win this competition during his first spell as manager at the club back in 2009. In truth, he will expect his stars to start this campaign in similar fashion. The manager is likely to tinker slightly, but the depth of Chelsea’s squad means that it will be a star-studded 11 regardless. If they play to their potential, they should brush Scunthorpe away with ease.
As well as being a great opportunity for fringe players to shine, some of the out-of-form players will relish the chance to face lesser opposition. The Blues claimed a 3-1 win when the clubs met in this competition 11 years ago. A similar result would could be another step to recovery for the Premier League champions.
Chelsea have been terrible this term, but they will enter this competition with genuine aspirations of lifting the trophy in May. There’s no reason to doubt them here.
Iron Out For Upset
Mark Robins and his men will appreciate that the odds are stacked against them, but they won’t be heading to west London simply to make up the numbers. Uncertainty at Stamford Bridge, combined with Bradford’s triumph last year, will give the away side a source of inspiration and they will look to adopt a positive mentality.
The League One side aren’t going to see much of the ball. However, they do have a natural goalscorer in Paddy Madden, and the 25-year-old should pose a regular threat to the Blues backline. Unleashing him in the final third has to be a priority for the visitors.
Scunthorpe are in relatively decent form too having lost just once in their last seven matches. Even a draw would suit them here as it means more money and the chance to bring the champions back to Glanford Park. It might seem unlikely, but we’ve seen stranger things happen.
Anything could happen and that’s exactly why we love the magic of the cup. Whatever happens, it should be a great day out for the Iron.
Chelsea V Scunthorpe United Betting
Quite predictably, Chelsea enter this clash as overwhelming favourites at odds of 1/5 with Bet365. Meanwhile, the visitors can be backed at 12/1 and the draw is available at 6s.
Regardless of what team Hiddink picks, he will want his team to fire another warning shot to their rivals. Starting the new year with back-to-back triumphs could be exactly what they need to get back on track, and we’re backing them to breeze through against Scunthorpe.
If the Blues reach anything like top gear, they’ll coast their way to round four. The -2 Asian handicap at Evens has go to be worth a punt.
Chelsea -2 Asian handicap @ Evens with Paddy Power
Hiddink will make a few changes and that should give a few fringe players another chance to stake their claims. None will be as determined as striker Loic Remy, and the Frenchman should be a great shout to cause the away side plenty of problems.
Despite limited playing time, Remy has impressed when picked. We’re backing him to find the net not once, but twice against Scunthorpe to fire Chelsea through. However, you might want to wait for team news first. If Costa gets the nod, back him at 10/3 instead.[quote_center]Loic Remy to score 2+ goals @ 5/1 with Betfred[/quote_center]