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Match Previews

Preview: Chelsea

31 January 2016

Sixteen months on from upsetting 13-time Premier League winners Manchester United, the Dons welcome the reigning champions to stadiummk.

Karl Robinson’s side take on Chelsea this afternoon in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup tie, looking to give another good account of themselves against higher-ranked opposition in front of a sell-out crowd and the BBC One cameras.

The men from MK1 beat local rivals and in-form Northampton Town to secure today’s tie, running-out 3-0 victors in a replay at stadiummk thanks to goals from Ben Reeves, Josh Murphy and Simon Church.

That win was the Dons’ second straight triumph at home and while they face a tough task of adding a third on this afternoon, Robinson’s men have proven in the past that anything can happen in football – the FA Cup is magic after all!

THE OPPOSITION
Chelsea have turned things around following the appointment of Guus Hiddink and are unbeaten in the five games he has taken charge of.

One of those matches was the Blues’ third-round tie win over Sky Bet League 1 outfit Scunthorpe United – a tie the Stamford Bridge outfit took seriously by naming a near full-strength XI.

Hiddink’s side are expected to take today’s tie just as seriously, as they go in search of their eighth FA Cup success – an achievement which would see them move level with Tottenham Hotspur for third in the all-time list of FA Cup winners.

LAST TIME OUT
Last weekend the Dons suffered a disappointing 3-1 defeat in a Sky Bet Championship six-pointer with Bolton Wanderers at the Macron Stadium.

Trotter defender Rob Holding bundled in an opener after only seven minutes before captain Darren Pratley doubled the lead from a tight angle just before half-time.

The Dons never really got going in Lancashire but they did pull a goal back late on through Josh Murphy’s stunning 30-yard strike, only for Shola Ameobi to add a third and seal the points in stoppage time.

Chelsea climbed to 13th in the Premier League table with a 1-0 victory over title-challengers Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

The game’s main talking point came early in the first-half when Per Mertesacker was sent off after hauling down Diego Costa, who was through on goal.

The Blues made the most of their man advantage and edged in front five minutes later when Costa turned Branislav Ivanovic’s whipped cross past Peter Cech at his near post.

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUTS
Karl Robinson: “We’re excited to come up against some of the best players in the last 10 years and one of the biggest clubs in the last 10 years.

“They’ve got players who are world class, a manager who is world class so we’ve got to roll our sleeves up and really enjoy the challenge. It’s important we don’t let an afternoon like this pass us by.”




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. mkstadium BBC Radio 5Live and talkSPORT will also have live commentary of the game from

Today's tie will be shown live on BBC One and the BBC website (UK residents only), with coverage starting from 3.35pm.
MATCH COVERAGE

for over 110 betting options for today’s Emirates FA Cup tie - don't forget the Dons benefit every time you win with Sky Bet! here Click

*All odds correct at the time of writing

Josh Murphy: 11/1
Dean Bowditch: 12/1
Simon Church: 11/1
Oscar: 11/2
Eden Hazard: 5/1
Diego Costa: 100/30
First goalscorer

Chelsea to win 2-1: 9/1
Dons to win 1-0: 22/1
Eden Hazard to score and Chelsea to win in 90 minutes: 5/2
Dean Bowditch to score and Dons to win in 90 minutes: 25/1
Specials

Chelsea to win today: 1/3
Chelsea to win the tie: 1/9
Draw today: 4/1
Dons to win today: 8/1
Dons to win the tie: 5/1
Result
SKY BET ODDS

In total, the West Yorkshire official has booked 60 players in 2015/16 and sent off three. He has awarded six penalties this season, giving two in one game on two occasions.

Moss, the 2015 FA Cup final referee, officiated Chelsea earlier this campaign, booking seven players and sending off Nemanja Matic in the Blues’ 2-1 loss at West Ham United in October.

Jon Moss will take charge of today’s tie, refereeing the Dons for the first time since March 2011 when Karl Robinson’s men beat Rochdale 4-1 at Spotland.
REFEREE

The Dons have won four cup matches against Premier League opposition and scored four goals on each occasion – 4-0 vs Manchester United, 4-2 vs QPR, 4-3 vs Blackpool, 4-0 vs Norwich City.
MATCH FACT

New signings Alexandra Pato and Matt Miazga may be involved but only from the bench, if at all.

Pedro is also available again after missing the game at the Emirates Stadium but strikers Loic Remy (calf) and Radamel Falcao (thigh) are injured.

Chelsea are expected to give Eden Hazard is first start in four weeks while Diego Costa is also fit despite suffering a knee injury last weekend at Arsenal.

from his loan spell at Oxford United on Saturday, is cup-tied. mkstadium George Baldock, who will return to

However, while those two are set to be involved, Nicky Maynard (hamstring), Ben Reeves (thigh), Matt Upson (hamstring) and Carl Baker (ankle) will all miss out due to injury.

Loanee Hall was ineligible to feature against his parent club Bolton Wanderers last weekend, while McFadzean served the second game of his two-match ban.

The Dons welcome back Rob Hall and Kyle McFadzean for this afternoon’s clash but will be without four players due to injury.
TEAM NEWS

“You cannot compare when they are not doing that well in the league. FA Cup, you know better than I do, in England what can happen in FA Cup. We consider this as a very serious game.”

Guus Hiddink: “It is a huge game for them against Chelsea and I might remind you when they beat Manchester United 4-0.

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