Championship side Barnsley welcome Chelsea to Oakwell on Thursday night, looking to join fellow second division side Bournemouth in the quarter finals of the FA Cup.
The Tykes will be more than ready to give Thomas Tuchel his first taste of FA Cup football since his appointment – with temperatures set to be below freezing by the time this one kicks off.
What is the Barnsley vs Chelsea tip for tonight?
The German tactician, who replaced Frank Lampard as Chelsea boss on January 26th, has taken to his new role splendidly; leading The Blues to three wins and three clean sheets in four games.
In fact, his side haven’t conceded a single goal to their opposition, as the only goal they’ve conceded was an Antonio Rüdiger own goal against Sheffield United last weekend.
His switch to 3-at-the-back with two attacking wing-backs has paid dividends, seeing Marcos Alonso reintroduced to the side and Mason Mount take up an integral role just behind the striker.
The change in shape has also been beneficial for striker Timo Werner, whose three assists in three starts under Tuchel are more goal involvements than he had had in his previous 10 appearances.
Their hosts tonight, Championship outfit Barnsley, will have to be at their best to nullify Chelsea’s attacking threats. They will be hoping to summon the spirit of their last victory over top tier opposition in the FA Cup, 13 years ago against Chelsea.
Since then, they have faced Premier League opposition on five occasions, losing all five and failing to score a single goal in four. It doesn’t bode well then that they’ve failed to score in four of their five games in 2021.
In fact, the Tykes haven’t won a league game since December 29th, as well as currently having the league’s 6th worst defensive record – conceding a dismal 34 goals in 27 games.
It was that defensive frailty that The Blues were able to exploit when they met in the 3rd round of the EFL Cup last September.
£72m summer signing Kai Havertz bagged a hat-trick, as Chelsea routed their opponents 6-0 at Stamford Bridge, in what was Barnsley’s heaviest away defeat since a 7-1 drubbing at Manchester City in 2005.
The odds for this one are terribly unappealing as a result, with the visitors as short as ¼ to pick up a win here.
With all of that in mind, I’ll be backing a BetBuilder in this one.
Take Under 1 Goals in the match for Barnsley and combine it with Over 1 Goals in the match for Both Teams Combined at 7/4 with bet365 (For some reason, that’s a better price than the 8/5 about Barnsley Under 1 Goals and Chelsea Over 1 Goals).