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Barnsley vs Chelsea: FA Cup preview

C

helsea travel north to Oakwell to face Championship Barnsley in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Thursday evening.

The resurgent Blues are flying and unbeaten under Thomas Tuchel, with Frank Lampard’s successor having guided his new team to three consecutive wins and collected seven points from a possible nine during a very encouraging start to life at Stamford Bridge.

In-form Chelsea – who previously made light work of lower-division opponents in Morecambe and Luton – will be heavy favourites to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals, though will be wary of a Barnsley team that toppled Championship leaders Norwich in round four.

Valerien Ismael’s side currently sit 13th in the second tier, nine points adrift of the top six but eight above the relegation zone.

Date, kick-off time and venue

Barnsley vs Chelsea is scheduled for an 8pm GMT kick-off on Thursday, February 11, 2021.

The match will be played behind closed doors at Oakwell due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

How to watch Barnsley vs Chelsea for free

TV channel: Thursday’s game is being broadcast live on BBC One, with coverage beginning at 7:30pm.

Live stream: Fans can also watch the action online via the BBC Sport website or iPlayer.

Barnsley vs Chelsea team news

Barnsley have been boosted by the returns of Romal Palmer and Toby Sibbick from injury, though Aapo Halme won’t resume training until Friday and the likes of Liam Kitching and Ben Williams also look set to miss Thursday’s glamour tie.

USA international Daryl Dike – who signed on loan from MLS outfit Orlando City last week – could make his debut after heavy rain in West Yorkshire caused the weekend clash with Wayne Rooney’s Derby to be postponed.

As for Chelsea, Tuchel looks likely to ring the changes for a third away game in seven days as he seeks fresh legs.

Christian Pulisic missed the 2-1 win at Bramall Lane on Sunday due to personal issues, while Havertz has been battling injury.

Barnsley vs Chelsea prediction: 3-0 away win

A long midweek trip to Oakwell in the middle of a cold snap will pose challenges for Chelsea, though confidence is currently very high among the Blues squad.

The visitors’ starting XI should feature several players looking to stake their claim for more regular playing time under Tuchel and they will no doubt view this as an ideal opportunity.

Barnsley will want to avoid a repeat of the drubbing they received at the Bridge in September, but an upset looks a very tall order in this one.

Head to head (h2h) history and results

Last meeting: Chelsea 6-0 Barnsley (23/9/2020)

Barnsley vs Chelsea betting odds and tips

Barnsley to qualify: 11/2


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