Chelsea v Hull City
Friday, Feb 16 – 20:00pm
Chelsea bounced back from their 4-1 loss to Watford by beating Premier League strugglers West Brom 3-0 in their last match. Manager Antonio Conte praised new signing Olivier Giroud for his impact on the match, and stressed the importance of having two capable strikers in Giroud and Alvaro Morata in his squad. Conte may opt to rotate his starting XI tonight, which paid off for the Italian when Chelsea beat Newcastle 3-0 in their FA Cup Round 4 clash a fortnight ago. The Blues will have to do it without Michy Batshuayi this time round however, so expect Giroud to feature in tonight’s match.
Hull City beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 in their last Championship clash, marking their first win in 10 league matches. The Tigers still have plenty of work to do to get their campaign back on track, and currently sit 21st in the Championship table. They have experienced a decent run in the FA Cup however, claiming convincing wins over Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers on the road to Round 5. Striker Jarrod Bowen has scored 13 goals for Hull City this season, and could be the danger man for the visitors tonight.
Let’s take a look at the stats:
- The last time these two clubs met in the FA Cup was back in December 2009, when Chelsea beat Hull 6-1 – the only time the Blues have scored six goals away from home in the competition.
- Chelsea have never lost a competitive match at home against Hull City (W11 D5) – they have won each of their last four meetings.
- Chelsea have progressed from the fifth round of the FA Cup on nine of their last 10 attempts – their only loss coming against Man City in 2014.
- Hull City have only managed to win three of their last 19 FA Cup matches against top-flight clubs – they did however, win their most recent clash with Swansea last season.
- Chelsea have netted 122 goals in their last 44 matches in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge – the last time they failed to score at home in the competition was back in 1999.
- The Tigers have managed to keep four clean sheets in their last seven matches – the same amount as in their previous 30 games.
Antonio Conte will be hoping that his side have turned a page following their recent win over West Brom. The Blues have been inconsistent over the last few weeks, and Conte will have one eye on their upcoming clash with Barcelona, so it’s fair to say that the FA Cup will not be his top priority. Hull City have struggled this season and with the sad news that Ryan Mason has been forced to retire, Nigel Adkins has been left with a depleted squad for tonight’s match. Hull will try to make things difficult for the home side, but Chelsea have far too much talent in their ranks for the Tigers to handle. Chelsea to win.