Friday, January 22, 2010

Featured Match: Preston North End vs Chelsea FC

FA Cup fourth round
Venue: Deepdale Date: Saturday, 23 January Kick-off: 1245 GMT
Coverage: Footy Europe website, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC local radio,

Preston boss Darren Ferguson will again be without Paul Parry (knee) and Barry Nicholson (broken leg).

However, defender Youl Mawene has been making steady progress after suffering knee ligament damage and could come into contention.

Chelsea will be without left-back Ashley Cole who has an ankle problem so Yury Zhirkov should come in.
Michael Essien's knee injury will rule him out for six weeks, goalkeeper Hilario will replace rested Petr Cech.
The tie in context
• This is one of five fourth round ties pitting Premier League with Championship opposition.
• Holders Chelsea are one of 15 top-flight clubs targeting a place in the last 16; Preston are one of 12 hoping to make it through from the second level.

Gulf in class
• Preston are 35 rungs inferior to the recently deposed Premier League table toppers.

• These clubs have not met since Chelsea won 3-1 in the fifth round of the FA Cup in February 2002. It was their 73rd competitive meeting.
• This is only the third time the two clubs have been drawn against each other in the FA Cup. Chelsea have progressed on the both previous occasions, in the fourth round in 1969, after a replay, and in the last 16 in 2002.

Current form
• Won two of the last 12 in all competitions, and lost three of the most recent four.

FA Cup form
• Preston qualified for this stage by thrashing Colchester 7-0. It was the widest margin of victory in the third round and joint widest in this season's competition.
• North End have qualified for the fifth round in three of the last four seasons.

Current form
• Won the last three with an aggregate score of 14-3, and undefeated in eight.
• Won four and drawn four league and cup games since losing to Manchester City on 5 December.

FA Cup form
• The cup holders have reached at least the quarter-finals in each of the last four years, and have not been knocked out earlier than the fifth round since Manchester United eliminated them in January 1998.
• Their only defeat in 19 FA Cup ties was to Barnsley of the Championship in the quarter-finals in March 2008; the last time they were ousted by lower league opposition.
Replay date
Tuesday, 2 February 2010 (Kick Off: 1945)
Match officials
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)
Assistant referees: Phil Sharp & Simon Beck
Fourth official: Lee Mason

Watch The Live Match Commentary on


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