Chelsea will be looking to progress to the quarter-finals of the Emirates FA Cup for the fifth time in the last six seasons when they travel to Oakwell to face Championship side Barnsley this evening, kick-off 8:00pm.
The Blues, who have already faced Barnsley this season, beating them 6-0 in the Carabao Cup back in September, will make their second visit of the week to South Yorkshire looking to take another giant stride towards Wembley.
As well as looking to edge another step nearer towards a second successive FA Cup final, Chelsea will also be looking to maintain their unbeaten start to life under head coach Thomas Tuchel.
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Since being appointed as Frank Lampard’s successor just over a fortnight ago, Tuchel has enjoyed an impressive start to life at Stamford Bridge, winning three and drawing one of his first four games in charge. As well as that, the Blues have conceded just one goal in those four matches.
Despite the German’s encouraging start to life in England, this evening’s clash with Barnsley will be a completely different experience to those that Tuchel has faced so far, with the FA Cup often capable of producing a surprise when you least expect it.
And with that in mind, Tuchel is refusing to underestimate the Tykes, who have dumped Tranmere Rovers and Norwich City out of the competition so far, insisting his players must “be totally focused” on the task that lies ahead.
“If we play in any competition, we play to win it,” Tuchel said during his pre-match press conference on Wednesday. “So every round in any cup competition is the most important round.
“This is an elimination game and we have to be totally focused, totally on point tomorrow when the match starts, and ready to finish with a win. This is the absolute desire.
“There is a high possibility we see a…