This afternoon, Chelsea Football Club begin their defence of the FA Cup when they welcome Nottingham Forest, to Stamford Bridge, for a 3rd round tie.
The tie, which pits a Championship side against one of the big boys of the Premier League, has all the makings of a cup shock.
Here at Vital Chelsea we still wince at the recent memories of being humbled by Bradford City, at Stamford Bridge, in the same competition.
At the pre-match press conference, held on Friday, it was Gianfranco Zola who entertained the press, not Maurizio Sarri.
Zola, as reported by the BBC, gave an update on who might be in the starting eleven and who wouldn’t.
As for who wouldn’t start, Zola covered the injury situation, remarking about Willian, Pedro and Giroud, starting with Willian:
“The doctor hasn’t told us, but I don’t think it is as bad. When it is a muscle problem you get scared, but I don’t think it is too big.
“I think we might get Pedro and Giroud back for Tottenham.”
And when pushed on whether our jewel-in-the-crown Eden Hazard would be rested, Zola added,
“Of course, Eden has been fantastic and an influential, but I believe tomorrow he might get a little rest.”
Hopefully, Hazard will be on the bench and be available to rescue the tie if Chelsea can’t break down what we’re sure will be a resolute and determined Nottingham Forest side.
Because, looking at who isn’t available, we might be lacking that little spark that can make all the difference.
However, continuing to entertain the media, Zola, who has won the FA Cup with Chelsea, re-iterated just how important a competition it is for the club, further adding:
“For me I always rated it as one of the best. It is open to everyone like football should be. It is an open competition and it feeds the dream of many people.
“The crowd loves it, everybody does.
“We are trying to establish ourselves in this championship and we want to do well in the FA Cup. It is a pity the game comes where we have played so many games.
“You have to try to save some players.”
But that last line worries me, could we crash out of the FA Cup with our priorities being focussed elsewhere?
Let’s hope not.
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