Barnsley vs Chelsea preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups, ones to watch & managers thoughts
(Photo by Rich Linley - CameraSport via Getty Images)

The one-time winners Barnsley FC take on the eight-time winners Chelsea FC in an 8pm kick-off on Thursday night.

It was only three years ago when Chelsea won the FA cup in the 2017-18 season, after defeating Manchester United, with an Eden Hazard penalty separating the two sides.

It's a different story for the Tykes as their solo FA Cup win came back two years before the First World War, dating back to the 1911-12 season. Back in them days the finals were two-legged. They faced West Bromwich Albion and both legs ended in a 0-0 draw, but in the second leg their had to be a winner. 

That winner was Barnsley, who bagged a late goal in the 118th minute in extra time from English forward Harry Tufnell. It was a delight for Harry as he was a scorer in the two-legged final two years before, where they lost 3-1 on aggregate to Newcastle United.

In recent decades though, the Blues have reached the final 11 times since the 1993-94 season, winning the cup seven times and losing out four, which includes last season’s final, where they lost to London rivals Arsenal 2-1.

For the Tykes, they haven’t reached the fifth round stage since the 2012-13 season, where in fact they reached the quarter final stage, as they defeated the likes of Burnley, Hull City and Milton Keynes Dons along the way. In the last eight they faced FA Cup 2012 champions Manchester City, who completely blew them away with a 5-0 victory at the Etihad stadium.

Barnsley saw off Tranmere Rovers and Norwich City in the third and fourth round, whilst Chelsea comfortably beat the likes of Morecambe and Luton Town.

Team news

The Tykes have had nearly a fortnight off, now they have Romal Palmer and Toby Sibbick back from injury.

American forward Daryl Dike will be available for Barnsley after joining on loan from Orlando City on February 1st. He was only able to meet the criteria for a UK work permit because he had made his senior international debut the day before.

Barnsley boss Valérien Ismaël has to deal with having the likes of Aapo Halme, Ben Williams and Liam Kitching on the sidelines.

Chelsea will be without Brazilian defender Thiago Silva on  Thursday night due to a pulled hamstring. Boss Thomas Tuchel has implied he will have to be patient with the 36 year-old. 

Hakem Ziyech will be looking to start for the Blues, with Tuchel more than likely mixing up the pack, to see what resources he has available in his squad.

Predicted lineups

Barnsley XI:

Collins, Sibbick, Helik, Andersen, Brittain, Mowatt, Palmer, Styles, Frieser, Woodrow, Adeboyejo.

Chelsea XI: 

Kepa, James, Zouma, Christensen, Alonso, Gilmour, Kante, Havertz, Ziyech, Hudson-Odoi, Abraham.

Ones to watch

Tykes’ top scorer this season Cauley Woodrow should be the main threat for Barnsley up top. His nine league goals this season have helped Barnsley be in the position they are in the league. They currently sit in 13th, a massive improvement compared to their great escape last season, with them finishing one place above relegation in 21st. 

These cup games are massive for youngsters to go out and show their ability. This is why if Scotsman Billy Gilmour stars on Thursday night, it would be huge for him to show Tuchel what he’s got. He’s put in some great performances when he’s starred for former manager Frank Lampard. He’s yet to get any minutes under his belt though under the new boss, but he appeared on the bench for the first time for Tuchel in their 2-1 win vs Sheffield United.

Previous meetings

Barnsley have won both of their FA Cup meetings with Chelsea, winning 4-0 in the third round in 1989 and 1-0 in the quarter-final in 2008.

Chelsea have won four of their last five meetings with Barnsley in all competitions, including a 6-0 demolition in the League Cup earlier this season.

The Blues have been eliminated from just two of their last 54 FA Cup ties against sides from a lower division, going out to Barnsley in 2007-08 and Bradford City in 2014-15.

How to watch

The game will be shown live free to watch on BBC1. The show starts at 7:30, while kick-off is 8pm.

Managers thoughts

I think it’s a great challenge for my side and for my staff,” Tykes boss Valérien Ismaël said ahead of the game.

We told the guys that it’s one of the best teams in the world but it’s a big chance for us to show our principles, working against them. This is what we want, to stay on our way, on our focus.

“I think for everybody it’s a new experience, another level, and this is what we want to face, with our way to play football. How far we are, how much danger we can give Chelsea, how unpleasant we can be for them. If they find a solution because they have big quality, we have to find another solution.”

"If we play in any competition, we play to win it," Tuchel told reporters on Wednesday afternoon. 

"So every round in any cup competition is the most important round. This is an elimination game and we have to be totally focused, totally on point tomorrow when the match starts, and ready to finish with a win. This is the absolute desire."