Frank Lampard hopes to return to winning ways as Chelsea host Morecambe at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup Third Round.
The Blues have not lost in the Third Round of the competition since 1998 when Manchester United waltzed past the Blues 5-3.
After a miserable end to last season's FA Cup campaign, Lampard will undoubtedly look to come back stronger in search of redemption.
Meanwhile, Morecambe will look to catch an out of form Chelsea side off guard in hope of creating club history; Derek Adams' side have never reached the FA Cup Fourth Round.
The Shrimps have lost each of their last three Third Round draws whilst also failing to score.
Chelsea – LWLDL
The Blues have been weathering a rough patch of form recently having won just once in their last five games.
Lampard has lost the wind from his sails but will be hoping to turn the tide after growing pressure surrounding his position at the helm of Stamford Bridge.
Morecambe – LWWWW
The Shrimps have been in excellent form lately winning six of their last seven games, but have kept a clean sheet on just two of those occasions.
As a result of this great form, Adams was named December Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month.
What does the clash mean?
For the home side, Chelsea will look to field a side balanced with youth and experience after a turbulent Christmas and New Year period.
With the extension of five substitutes permitted in the FA Cup, the fixture could be poised for a debut or two; 16-year-old striker Jude Soonsup-Bell has been training with the first team ahead of the clash and could feature.
From Morecambe’s point of view, a giant-killing is on the cards. The club has never surpassed the Fourth Round and will look to create history.
The Blues will be without Reece James and Andreas Christensen who both continue to recover from injury. N’Golo Kante is out due to a minor hamstring injury.
Aside from the blanket of misery thrown over Stamford Bridge by Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, a handful of positives arose from the clash. Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kai Havertz featured off the bench and produced fairly promising performances; both of which could be rewarded.
One person I’m going to applaud who probably won’t get much credit is Kai Havertz.— turk (@XIIIRYE) January 3, 2021
This instinctive run he makes for the assist makes all of this possible.
This type of movement is what we are lacking pic.twitter.com/mOJP5Yzcvw
One to watch
Hudson-Odoi has given fans plenty to rave about since his return to life under Lampard.
The 20-year-old's infusion of electric pace, lavish flicks and direct dribbling has lifted fans from their sofas and will look to continue to build his form.
Hudson-Odoi has four goal contributions in his last six FA Cup games. A domestic cup specialist.
Carlos Mendes Gomes will certainly be a player to keep an eye out for.
The Spanish forward has scored seven goals in 18 appearances this season, three of which came in his last three games.
11: Carlos Mendes Gomes (@ShrimpsOfficial)— Edward Walker (@edward_w97) December 30, 2020
I can’t believe we’re approaching 2021 and I can call Morecambe promotion contenders.
The whole #Shrimps team has had an great month, but CMG, with his 5 goals and 1 assist this December, has been simply sublime.#EFL pic.twitter.com/tVUXVCeVTo
Lampard led the pre-match press conference: “The original Covid rules meant we could only have a certain amount of players plus staff in the bubble but an alteration to that recently means we can have some Academy players to call upon, who are tested quite rightly in the process, and that is a big plus for us in terms of being able to train at the level we want to train. So, they have been in to train with us and some may be involved in the game on Sunday.
“We have called up both Tinos – [Tino] Anjorin and [Tino] Livramento, and Soonsup-Bell who has been scoring goals in the youth team. We have called up Lewis Bate who has trained with us before and we have called up Henry Lawrence.
“It is a great experience for them. It is something I wanted to do and was able to do at the club last year pre-restart.
"It helps training because it is really important to have competitive training and having young numbers allows that without killing the players physically between games.
“We have had a long week and they have really been able to help and also shown their qualities and it is great to be able to gauge young players on not only how quickly they take to the football side, but how quickly their personalities take to the uplift in pressure and level of training.
“They have real potential for us and there are lots of steps for them, but I am pleased to be able to do it.”
Adams drew comparisons from his past experiences as a player and as a manager to previous ‘giant killings’: “In the past, I’ve had to go to Hampden and play against Celtic when I was in the first division with Ross County: we beat them 2-0 on the day in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup to reach the final.
“And we went to Anfield with Plymouth Argyle and drew 0-0 with Jurgen Klopp’s team too.
“So, what we do is we try and have it as relaxed as possible, I think that’s important. They’ll all be really excited to go to Stamford Bridge and play.
“So, on the day they have to stick to the gameplan, and then they will obviously get opportunities in the game.
“It’s when those opportunities come along, it’s how clinical can they be in front of goal.
“You’ve got to understand the opposition. They are talented, they have spent a great deal of money in taking in the players they have. But our players have to appreciate the skill that they do have.
“On the day, you always cause the opposition a problem, they will certainly cause us a problem.”
How to watch?
Chelsea vs Morecambe will be streamed via the BBC iPlayer on Sunday, 10th January 2021 for a 1:30 pm kick-off.
The game will also be available from 2 pm on the BBC red button.