Match Preview: Chelsea at Home FA Cup 4th Round
By Paul Neat
Updated Wednesday, 20th January 2010
Darren Ferguson's first home game for the Lilywhites couldn't be much harder. However, thwarting the might of Premier League giants Chelsea on their way to defending the FA Cup is improbable but not impossible.
Preston North End Vs Chelsea
Saturday 23rd January FA Cup 4th Round 12:45 KO
Thanks to the adverse weather conditions on the turn of the New Year, Darren Ferguson’s first home game in charge of Preston had to wait and instead will be against a side his father is currently doing the best he can to displace.
Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea visit Deepdale on Saturday looking to continue their march towards a successful FA Cup defence in what will be only the second time these two sides have met in the last 8 years, both in the FA Cup. The Premier League table-toppers have been in rampant form in recent weeks and will be keen to continue in such a rich vein which has seen them net twelve goals in their last two matches.
To get to this stage, Chelsea netted five of those goals came when last season’s FA Cup winners saw-off Watford in the 3rd round.
As mentioned above, the last time these two sides met was in the FA Cup when the Lilywhites travelled to West London for a 5th round tie in February 2002. North End took the lead against a strong Chelsea side thanks to a Richard Cresswell header on 9 minutes but were pegged back almost immediately when Eidur Gudjohnsen levelled for the home side. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink turned the game on its head just shy of the half hour mark before Mikael Forssell sealed the win in added time.
However, the last time these two sides met in a league game was back in the early eighties. The 1980/81 season saw North End unbeaten against Chelsea thanks to a 1-0 win at Deepdale and a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
In total the Lilywhites have faced Chelsea 73 times in competitive action with the latter having the upper hand in terms of wins; 30 over North End’s 26.
North End will have to face Chelsea without the trio of Paul Parry, Youl Mawene and Barry Nicholson who are all long term absentees. Parry is expected to miss the next three weeks whilst the latter pair aren’t expected to be in action in such a timescale.
Youngster Danny Mayor will be hoping to make his second appearance in as many games after the Preston born winger made his first team debut on Saturday at Ashton Gate.