Chelsea will have another chance to rediscover their smile on Sunday when they welcome Luton Town to Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup fourth round.
The Blues have won just three of their last ten games in all competitions, one of which was the victory over Morecambe which earned them this meeting with the Hatters, and that form has seen the future of manager Frank Lampard come under real scrutiny.
Despite their poor form, Chelsea will still be expecting a victory against a Luton side who are currently sat 13th in the Championship.
Previewing Southampton’s FA Cup fourth round clash with Arsenal, to be played at St Mary’s.
Preview and prediction as Leicester host Chelsea in the Premier League on Tuesday night.
Preview of the FA Cup fourth round clash between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday evening.
Frank Lampard says he is ‘worried’ by Chelsea’s form after five defeats in the last eight Premier League games, amid rumours he is facing the sack.
When is kick off? Sunday 24 January
What time is kick off? 12:00 (GMT)
Where is it played? Stamford Bridge
TV Channel/live stream? BBC One/BBC iPlayer
Referee? David Coote
We don’t actually have many definitive answers about the fitness of Chelsea‘s current squad. Instead of questions about that, Lampard was forced to listen to queries about his future in his pre-match press conference, and it got a little ugly.
The two players who missed the Leicester game last time out, Olivier Giroud and N’Golo Kante, could feature in some capacity in an attempt to build up their fitness, but Lampard could opt to keep them rested for a little while longer.
Luton boss Nathan Jones vowed to treat the game with ‘the ultimate respect’, and he’s expected to play a strong team which could feature Leicester loanee Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, who has been granted permission to play in this one.
Chelsea: Kepa; James, Zouma, Christensen, Emerson; Jorginho, Mount, Havertz; Pulisic, Abraham, Hudson-Odoi.
Luton: Sluga; Bree, Bradley, Pearson, Potts; Tunnicliffe, Dewsbury-Hall, Moncur, Berry; Collins, Hylton.
Leicester 2-0 Chelsea (19/01)
Fulham 0-1 Chelsea (16/01)
Chelsea 4-0 Morecambe (10/01)
Chelsea 1-3 Manchester City (03/01)
Chelsea 1-1 Aston Villa (28/12)
Brentford 1-0 Luton (20/01)
Bournemouth 0-1 Luton (16/01)
Luton 0-2 QPR (12/01)
Luton 1-0 Reading (09/01)
Luton 2-1 Bristol City (29/12)
Despite Chelsea’s struggles in recent weeks, there are still 25 league places between these two sides, so the Blues have to be viewed as favourites.
Lampard’s side should have the quality to come out on top here without any real problems, but life hasn’t exactly been that kind to Chelsea recently. They weren’t as good as their 4-0 triumph over Morecambe suggests, and Luton will sense blood.
This could be a banana skin for Chelsea, but their quality should steer them through unscathed.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Luton