Chelsea take on Peterborough United at Stamford Bridge hoping to secure a spot in the FA Cup fourth-round draw. Flying high at the top of the Premier League the distraction of a cup tie against League One promotion chasers could prove to be an interesting test for Antonio Conte’s men.
Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Tottenham which ended their record equaling unbeaten run of 13 games. After bringing back David Luiz from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer a resolute Blues defence has conceded very few goals, and has a strike force feared across the Premier League with an improving Pedro and the Premier League’s leading goal scorer in Diego Costa.
Last season’s hugely underperforming Eden Hazard is another player looking rejuvenated under the watchful eye of Antonio Conte, who will look to give other members of his squad a chance to play in this cup tie.
Peterborough United are 52 places below Chelsea coming into the game, but recent form suggests they may be a Championship outfit next season. Under former Posh player Grant McCann his team of young stars have impressed, but admittedly form has tailed off with players undoubtedly focusing on Sunday’s tie.
A number of draws have left fans frustrated since their second-round FA Cup replay against Notts County, but the Posh faithful will be optimistic for a promotion push after Martin Samuelsen returned to the ABAX Stadium for his second loan spell from West Ham United.
Sunday’s 3 o'clock kick off marks the return for one of Chelsea’s most promising defenders, Kurt Zouma after a serious cruciate ligament injury. Conte said “his injury was very bad” but now “he is ready to play and to restart his career”.
Michy Batshuayi will also start after struggling for opportunities in the side since his £33 million move from Marseille. It’s likely several youth prospects including Nathaniel Chalobah will get some game time, having played just 71 minutes of first team football this season.
Peterborough have some injuries coming into the game, with Jack Baldwin and Jermaine Anderson both missing out. New signing Junior Morais is cup tied, but the aforementioned Samuelsen will hope to retain his place in the side after the draw against Scunthorpe United.
The two sides have previously met in the FA Cup in 2001, with Chelsea prevailing 5-0. They will hope for a similar victory this Sunday.