Chelsea v Nottingham Forest Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews

January 03, 2019

- Grant Whittington

Stamford Bridge - FA Cup

Premier League giants Chelsea host Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday. The Blues won the competition last season, and are looking to get the defence of their crown up and running this weekend.

Past Meetings

Chelsea hammered Forest 5-1 in the League Cup last season, which was the first time the teams had played each other in 10 years. Before that, the Blues beat the Reds 3-0 in the FA Cup in 2007, which was the first time they’d played each other since Forest were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 1998/99 season.

Team News

This could be Cesc Fabregas’s last game in a Chelsea shirt, with a move to Monaco thought to be on the cards for the 31-year-old midfielder. Olivier Giroud is out of this game, while Pedro, Willian and Callum Hudson-Odoi are all injured too. That should mean Alvaro Morata gets the nod up front.

While Chelsea have injury problems in attack, it’s at the other end of the field where the visitors are struggling. Aitor Karanka could be without Michael Hefele, Michael Dawson and Tobias Figueiredo, which is a real blow, while Sam Byram, Juan Rafael Fuentes and Hillal Soudani are all injury doubts too.

Chelsea v Nottingham Forest Preview and Predictions

How many first team stars Maurizio Sarri decides to rest remains to be seen, but that could certainly have an impact on how this game pans out. With a full strength side out, you’d expect Chelsea to beat Forest comfortably and win to nil.

However, the Blues have a League Cup semi-final with Spurs coming up a few days after this cup tie, so we could see a number of changes. That could bring a lack of cohesion, which might help to level the playing field just a little bit between the Premier League’s fourth-placed side and the team currently lying four points outside the play-off places in the Championship.

Chelsea are still huge favourites in the betting though, priced at 1/4. They may have drawn at home to Southampton in midweek, and lost to Leicester at Stamford Bridge just before Christmas, but Sarri’s squad is full of talent and this is a favourable game to get their FA Cup defence underway with.

Forest come into this tough trip to the capital after ending a five-match winless run on New Year’s Day. They beat Championship leaders Leeds 4-2, which came on the back of a 3-3 draw at Norwich on Boxing Day, with the Canaries currently second. The Tricky Trees are 16/1 to upset the odds with a win on Saturday, while the draw is 11/2 and would send the tie to a replay at the City Ground.

Recommended Bets

Chelsea to win and BTTS

The Blues should have far too much for their visitors this weekend, but Forest have scored seven goals in two games against two of the Championship’s best sides in the past week or so.

Morata to score first at 4/1

Rumours are abounding that the Spaniard will be replaced in the January transfer window, and he needs to produce the goods here if he’s going to give himself a chance of winning Sarri’s faith.

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