Sunday, Chelsea begin their defence of yet another trophy, the FA Cup, at Stamford Bridge. Though overshadowed by another massive fixture the same day, the Blues will look to find a win as their recent league form sees them take just 10 out of a possible 30 pts. Their opponents, Ipswich Town, are having a bit of a torrid time themselves. After finishing comfortably clear of the relegation zone in last years Championship, the Tractor Boys find themselves in 19th place, just three points above the drop zone this season. To solve their issues, Ipswich sacked their manager, Roy Keane, just two days before their trip to Stamford Bridge.
Because of the departure of Keane, it’s hard to know what to expect from Ipswich this Sunday. However, they have lined up in a 4-4-2 formation in the 24 games that they have played in the Championship. Their attack has been rather woeful, having scored just 26 goals in those matches with Jason Scotland netting seven this season. In addition, fans will remember Tamas Priskin who scored for Watford against Chelsea in 2009. He has three goals of his own this season. Ipswich also have youngster Connor Wickham who’s drawn attention from a number of teams and could be an Englishman to watch for in the future.
For Chelsea, it’s a chance to reverse the recent trend of poor results or a chance to heap more pressure on the team and Carlo Ancelotti. The team is in a slide and it has all but ended the Blues hopes of defending their Premier League title. This might be the healthiest the squad has been all season, with just Yuri Zhirkov, Alex, and Yossi Benayoun still missing due to injury. However, the remaining squad has not performed to their usual standard in months and questions have been raised about the squad being too old and thin.
Ancelotti may opt to start with a few youth members and he will have Josh McEachran, Jeffrey Bruma, Gael Kakuta, and Patrick van Aanholt to choose from. Daniel Sturridge made an appearance for the reserve squad scoring five goals in the process and it will be interesting to see if he plays a part.
More than likely, the Blues will field the strongest side possible knowing that trophies are more important and for this season, at least, it might represent their best chance of winning one.