Football Previews

Hull City v Chelsea FA Cup preview: prediction, team news & possible line-ups

By Harry Edwards

Published: 10:41, 25 January 2020

Chelsea travel to Hull City this weekend in one of five FA Cup fourth round’s ties between Premier League and Championship sides.

The Blues have won the competition eight times, most recently in 2018 under Antonio Conte, and reached the fourth round with a 2-0 win over another Championship side in Nottingham Forest.

Chelsea have been in indifferent form of late across all competitions and have won just one of their three games following that third-round win.

Hull, meanwhile, had to come from behind to beat League One side Rotherham United away from home and likewise haven’t been in great form, losing their past two games.

Read on for our Hull vs Chelsea preview, predictions, team news and TV coverage information.

When is Hull vs Chelsea and where can I watch live?

Competition: FA Cup

Venue: KCOM Stadium

Date: Saturday, 25 January 2020

Kick-off: 5:30 PM (UK time)

TV coverage (UK): BT Sport 1

Last five meetings: Hull vs Chelsea

16 February 2018: Chelsea 4-0 Hull (FA Cup)

22 January 2017: Chelsea 2-0 Hull (Premier League)

01 October 2016: Hull 0-2 Chelsea (Premier League)

22 March 2015: Hull 2-3 Chelsea (Premier League)

13 December 2014: Chelsea 2-0 Hull (Premier League)

Aggregate Score: Hull (LLLLL) 2-13 Chelsea (WWWWW)

Ones to watch

Hull: Tom Eaves

Tom Eaves was Hull’s hero in the FA Cup third round, scoring a hat-trick against Rotherham, and if the Tigers are to have any hopes of getting past Chelsea he needs to be in similar form.

Hull have scored just four goals in their past 10 games with Chelsea, with two of those coming in a bizarre 3-2 defeat during the 2014/15 season when the Tigers initially fought back from 2-0 down thanks to some generosity from Thibaut Courtois.

Eaves was rested for the defeat to Derby last weekend so will be fresh for Saturday’s match and will be hoping to continue his FA Cup form having struggled for goals in the Championship.

Key stat: Tom Eaves has scored seven goals in all competitions for Hull this season, with three of those coming in the FA Cup third round.

Chelsea: Michy Batshuayi

With Tammy Abraham out, at least for this game, through injury and Olivier Giroud out of favour, Michy Batshuayi will be the one to lead the line for Chelsea against Hull.

The Belgian has not been in the greatest of form recently, struggling to impact when coming on as a substitute, but now is his time. A good performance against Hull could see Lampard trust in Batshuayi and allowing Abraham more time to recover, for the good of Chelsea and England.

To stoke the fire within his player, Lampard has confirmed Batshuayi will start against Hull and has urged him to “take his chance”.

“He starts tomorrow. Yes, this is a chance for him,” he said. “Part of that has been how Tammy’s been, we have seen his breakthrough and the consistency of his game.

“But yes, this is a chance for him and clearly he certainly has got to take that chance in terms of his all-round game and goals and his overall performance.”

The expectancy for Chelsea to rely on Batshuayi over the coming weeks has brought a slight rise in his Football Index value, from 89p on Tuesday – when Abraham was injured against Arsenal – to 92p.

Key stat: Michy Batshuayi has scored five goals in nine FA Cup games for Chelsea.

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Team news


Callum Elder, Jordy de Wijs and Matthew Pennington are all expected to miss Saturday’s game, joining Kevin Stewart, Jon Toral and Norbert Balogh on the sidelines.

Stephen Kingsley could return from a hamstring injury but may not be risked with Hull still hopeful of a play-off spot.

Predicted XI: Ingram; Lichaj, Burke, Tafazolli, McLoughlin; Batty, Leonardo; Bowen, Kane, Wilks; Eaves.

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As previously mentioned, Chelsea will be without Abraham so Batshuayi is expected to lead the line. There will also be a start for Willy Caballero in goal after Kepa Arrizabalaga’s recent poor form, though Lampard did reiterate his faith in the Spaniard.

The Chelsea boss has confirmed he will be without young right-back Reece James due to a knee problem, so there could be a start for Tariq Lamptey who impressed against Arsenal last month.

Teenager Billy Gilmour could be in line for a start if Lampard opts to rotate his midfield ahead of an important period, with Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic also pushing for places.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been pictured in training with the first team but the English midfielder is not yet ready for action.

Predicted XI: Caballero; Lamptey, Tomori, Zouma, Emerson; Barkley, Kovacic, Gilmour; Pedro, Batshuayi, Hudson-Odoi.

Squawka prediction

When Chelsea beat Forest last time out their opponents rotated, opting to focus on the Championship and it will be interesting to see what Hull do here.

The Blues have lost just four times to Hull in their history and, even if the Blues do rotate, they should have enough to see off their Championship opposition.

Scoreline prediction: Hull 0-3 Chelsea