Brentford striker Clayton Donaldson tries to make a move on a Southend United defender in their third round FA Cup match on Jan. 6.
What: FA Cup (Round 4)
Where: Griffin Park, London, England, UK
When: Sunday, January 27, 2013
Weather: The Weather Channel forecast
Time: 11:55 p.m. GMT/6:55 a.m. ET/3:55 a.m. PT
Television: Fox Soccer Channel Channel (USA), ESPN UK / HD (UK)
Worldwide and : LiveSoccerTV.com
Radio: SiriusXM SIRI 94 (Internet 94)
Replay Date (If tied): Saturday, February 16, 2013, Stamford Bridge
Fifth Round Draw: Sunday, 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT
3-Way Odds: Chelsea -800, Brentford +500, Draw +450
Total: Over 2½ -175, Under 2½ +125
Decimal Odds: Chelsea 1.20, Brentford 9.50, Draw 5.50
Decimal Total: Over 2½ 1.57, Under 2½ 2.25
Fractional Odds: Chelsea 1/5, Brentford 17/2, Draw 9/2
Fractional Total: Over 2½ 57/100, Under 2½ 5/4
Source: sportsbook.com (Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles)
Alternate Point Spreads
Chelsea -1½ -135, Brentford +1½ +115
Over 3 -115, Under 3 -105
Odds To Win FA Cup: Chelsea 7/2, Brentford (Field) 30/1
Source: Cantor Gaming (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Chelsea's attempts to add a piece of silverware to its trophy cabinet at Stamford Bridge this season have delivered nothing but big, fat doses of heartache and humility.
So thank goodness for May 19, 2012, right Blues fans?
With disappointments in the Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Champions League, Club World Cup final and Capital One Cup, Chelsea can now only hope to defend its title here, win the UEFA Europa League (9/2, Cantor Gaming) and try to qualify in the EPL for Champions League play next season to ease some of the pain in west London.
To get to that end, the Blues must first win this FA Cup fourth-round match six miles away at Griffin Park against Brentford, an English League One team three tiers down from Chelsea.
The European champion Blues will be facing the Bees in the first competitive meeting between the two clubs in the last 63 years.
Brentford is currently in third place in League One with a 13-11-4 record (41 goals for, 27 against) and has lost just twice this season at home (8-4-2), where the largest crowd in over three decades is expected.
And don't doubt for a minute that the Bees and manager Uwe Rösler—led by the league's second-leading scorer, striker Clayton Donaldson (15 goals)—would love nothing better than to get all David on the big, blue Goliath from down the block on Sunday.
Chelsea limps into this match against Brentford in the midst of its exhaustive schedule with a depleted roster and looking desperately to put the controversial happenings and result of Wednesday's match at Swansea City in the second leg of their Capital One Cup semifinal in its rearview mirror.
Interim manager Rafael Benítez will be working with a very thin roster, with Eden Hazard (suspended), Oriol Romeu (injury), John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses (participating for Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations) all unavailable and David Luiz possibly out with a calf injury according to Daily Mail.
With no Mikel, Romeu and Luiz—who hurt his calf in the final seconds of the midweek tie against the Swans—the central midfield is now pretty stretched so Frank Lampard and Ramires will likely have to carry most of the load against the Bees.
Besides the central/defensive midfield, the depth of the advanced midfield is also hurting with the absence of Hazard and Moses meaning Juan Mata and Oscar will be crucial while Marko Marin may get a start or some serious minutes at Brentford.
One key cog whose return would be welcome is defender John Terry. The captain has never started under Benítez, has spent the last four games on the bench and started just once in the last 25 games due to his knee injury and bans.
This depleted Blues roster could mean that one or more players from the club's Under-21 team could be called up so it is posible Nathan Aké, George Saville or Yossi Benayoun may get some minutes with the big club.
What will happen on Sunday in this FA Cup fourth round match?
All these tired regulars and possible new additions means it probably won't be smooth sailing for Chelsea (13-6-4 EPL) in this one but, historically, the Blues don't lose games in this situation in the FA Cup, although you can almost feel there will be drama knowing the disparity of the two teams and the site of the sporting festivities.
In the end, with Petr Čech most likely in goal and good luck charm Terry possibly back, Chelsea should control the dangerous Donaldson, dominate the time of possession and find a way to advance to the next round with a goal or two from Fernando Torres and Demba Ba and hold on to the possibility of defending its crown.
And right now that seems like an awful big thing to the Blues and their fans.
BET: Over 2½ -175
PREDICTION: Chelsea 3 Brentford 0
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