MK Dons vs. Chelsea: Team News, Predicted Lineups, Live Stream, TV Info

Garry HayesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2016

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 24:  John Terry of Chelsea celebrates with his team-mates after the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on January 24, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

It's been a busy weekend for Chelsea in the transfer market after they confirmed the signings of Pato and Matt Miazga.

Both players will bolster Guus Hiddink's squad for the final five months of the season, but Chelsea's trip to Milton Keynes to face MK Dons in the FA Cup fourth round will be too soon to expect either to make his debut.

Speaking on Friday ahead of this game, Hiddink appeared buoyed by the business that will freshen things up at Stamford Bridge.

"It is not a gamble," he said of Pato, the Brazilian striker who has joined Chelsea from Corinthians.

"Coming on loan makes it possible to have a good view on him. We will give him all the support in this and it is up to him. On loan is good for everyone to see whether he is happy with this club and whether the club is happy with him after this few months.

"He has to settle, we will give him all the time to do that and get used to a very demanding league."

Like Pato, former New York Red Bulls defender Miazga is still in pre-season mode as he was preparing for the new MLS campaign before he joined the reigning champions.

"He will be one of the squad members for the rest of the season, a young guy stepping up to the national team, and if you have young players you can see what they are capable of in training," Hiddink added.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 19:  Pato of Sao Paulo looks on during the match between Sao Paulo and Atletico MG for the Brazilian Series A 2015 at Estadio do Morumbi on November 19, 2015 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)
Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images

Chelsea's visit to stadiummk on Sunday will be their first in a competitive fixture since the Dons moved from London in 2004. Back then the club had to play in the local hockey stadium before eventually moving into their new home in 2007.

A Chelsea XI played a friendly against the Championship side to officially open the stadium back then, with the Dons winning that game 4-3.

If the scoreline comes anywhere close to that on Sunday, then we'll be in for an FA Cup classic and a major upset.

Chelsea have been rebuilding since the departure of Jose Mourinho in December and the 1-0 victory over Arsenal last weekend suggests they're not a long way off their best.

MK Dons were promoted to the Championship last season, but they currently sit just outside the relegation zone after one win in five matches.

 

Match Details

Date: Sunday, January 31

Time: 4 p.m. GMT/11 a.m. ET

Venue: stadiummk, Milton Keynes

TV Info: BBC1 / Fox Sports 1 (U.S. only)

Live Stream: BBC iPlayer (UK only) / FoxSoccer2Go (U.S. only)

 

Last 5 Games

MK Dons
Jan. 9Northampton 2-2 MK Dons
Jan. 12MK Dons 0-5 Burnley
Jan. 16MK Dons 1-0 Reading
Jan. 19MK Dons 3-0 Northampton
Jan. 23Bolton Wanderers 3-1 MK Dons
MK Dons FC
Chelsea
Jan. 3 Crystal Palace 0-3 Chelsea
Jan. 10 Chelsea 2-0 Scunthorpe United
Jan. 13 Chelsea 2-2 West Bromwich Albion
Jan. 16Chelsea 3-3 Everton
Jan. 24Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea
Chelsea FC

 

Predicted Lineups

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 24:  Diego Costa of Chelsea looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at The Emirates Stadium on January 24, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Chelsea have close to a fully fit squad heading into Sunday's FA Cup clash, but Radamel Falcao remains on the sidelines.

With a busy schedule on the horizon, Hiddink has hinted that he will make a few changes to his team as he looks to keep players fresh and free from injury.

"We have a lot of games coming, in the FA Cup, the league and Champions League so we have to think very cleverly about how to get and keep everyone fit," Hiddink said on Friday.

As for MK Dons, they haven't been able to train all week due to a waterlogged training ground.

"I think I am probably the only manager whose first question when he arrives in the morning, is 'where are the team training today?'" their manager Karl Robinson said earlier this week, per the Mirror.

Matt Upson and Carl Baker are both injured so will miss out.

 

MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Marton; Spence, McFadzean, Kay, Lewington; Potter, Carruthers; Hall, Williams, Murphy; Church

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Begovic; Ivanovic, Zouma, Cahill, Rahman; Matic, Loftus-Cheek; Willian, Oscar, Kenedy; Diego Costa

 

Key Players

Josh Murphy

MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND - JANUARY 19:  Josh Murphy of MK Dons scores a goal to make it 2-0 during the Emirates FA Cup match between MK Dons and Northampton Town at Stadium mk on January 19, 2016 in Milton Keynes, England.  (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/G
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

No other MK Dons player has scored more goals than Josh Murphy this season, so Chelsea will do well to recognise his goal threat from midfield.

Indeed, Murphy's goal-scoring form is very much a recent thing, too. He had scored just twice heading into the Christmas period but since has bagged four goals in nine games.

One of those came in the FA Cup third-round clash with Northampton to set up Sunday's visit of Chelsea. Murphy was also on the scoresheet last weekend against Bolton Wanderers, but it proved nothing more than a consolation as the Dons lost 3-1.

Murphy is just 20 years old, and while he's on loan from Norwich City, he follows in the MK Dons' tradition of blooding youngsters.

 

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Chelsea's English midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek (L) celebrates with Chelsea's Brazilian-born Spanish striker Diego Costa after scoring his team's second goal during the FA Cup third-round football match between Chelsea and Scunthorpe United at Stamford Br
GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

We're hoping to see Chelsea's young star in action again on Sunday after he recently impressed in the FA Cup against Scunthorpe United.

Loftus-Cheek was a half-time substitute that day, and he came on to help steady the ship against the League 1 side. In fact, he did much more than that when he scored the goal that killed the game off to make it 2-0.

That was Loftus-Cheek's first-ever senior goal and has added to the hype surrounding him. It felt like a breakthrough moment, and the hope is that Hiddink will look to utilise him much more between now and the end of the season.

The FA Cup is a good opportunity to rotate this Chelsea squad, especially when they have a midweek visit to Watford to contend with. Loftus-Cheek remains a back-up player for Chelsea and will want to use occasions such as this to make an impression.

 

Prediction

MK Dons 0-3 Chelsea

 

Odds

Home Win: 12/1

Away Win: 4/11

Draw: 9/2

First Goalscorer: Willian (7/1)

Odds via Oddschecker.

 

Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent. All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow him on Twitter @garryhayes.