Prediction & odds for the game: Barnsley (9/1) v Chelsea (3/10) – ST is backing the away win
When: Thursday, 11th February @ 8pm K.O
Where: Oakwell Stadium
Thirteen years on from their historic giant-killing, Barnsley will once again meet Chelsea in the FA Cup with a place in the quarter-finals on the line.
Barnsley are currently lingering around the mid-table section of the Championship, but as many fans will remember, they have an interesting past when it comes to playing Chelsea in this competition after beating them 1-0 to reach the semi-finals in 2008. Replicating that feat is going to be quite the task, especially without having any fans in attendance, but the chance of going on another magical run to Wembley should be all the motivation they need.
The comfortable 2-0 win over Tranmere in the third round was the least that fans expected from the Tykes, but against Norwich in the fourth round, they surprised a lot of pundits by edging out the Canaries in an impressive 1-0 win.
Winning a piece of silverware would be a great way for Thomas Tuchel to introduce himself to the Stamford Bridge faithful this season, even if most fans are willing to wait until the summer transfer window to see what he can do when given some money and time. If they can edge past Barnsley they should be viewed as one of the favourites to win the whole thing, but overlooking the second tier side would be an almighty mistake.
Chelsea’s path to the last 16 hasn’t been all too strenuous, starting off with a dominant 4-0 success over Morecambe in the third round at Stamford Bridge. The next step on their journey saw them go head to head with Luton Town, and while they did have a few hairy moments, they still won 3-1 in what proved to be Frank Lampard’s last game as manager.
We think this is going to be a really entertaining clash of styles with Barnsley looking to make it as physical as they can, whereas Chelsea will simply try and outplay the hosts in every department. We’re expecting some fireworks – and we don’t mean from fans just outside of the ground – but we do believe the Blues will dash any hopes of an upset with the sort of win that gives them some confidence heading into the quarter-finals.
Our official scoreline prediction is going to be 3-1 Chelsea, meaning we hit the over 2.5 goals bracket. We wouldn’t be shocked to see Barnsley actually take the lead, either, only for the quality of Tuchel’s men to be too much, in a similar fashion to how the Cheltenham vs Manchester City game played out.
Verdict: Back the away win at odds of 3/10 and the over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 8/15 (All odds are taken from bet365).[geosnippet id=3620]
If you want to bet on Barnsley vs Chelsea then head on over to the betting page. Alternatively, you can check out some of the other available fixtures at the soccer predictions page as this season’s FA Cup journey edges closer and closer to Wembley.