Chelsea returns to action on Saturday as it welcomes League One opposition in Plymouth Argyle to Stamford Bridge. The Blues are already out of the title race in the Premier League, so their focus will be on winning every other trophy within their power. They have the opportunity to win two more pieces of silverware this month (Club World Cup and Carabao Cup) but before that, they will look to progress further in the FA Cup. This is a tune-up for Thomas Tuchel’s men before they depart for Abu Dhabi and after a long break, they should be in good spirits ahead of their match against the Pilgrims. The last time the reigning European Champions played, they gave Spurs a third beatdown in the span of a month, ending a rough patch on a positive note. Now, it feels as if they turned a corner and the clash with Plymouth will be the first of many tests to come.
Here is how The Pride of London team sees the contest playing out:
Olaoluwa Nwobodo: 5-0 Chelsea
Chelsea will likely not go in with a full strength side, but it should still have enough to get a more than comfortable win against Plymouth. This will be the Blues’ last game before the Club World Cup, they’ll want to go into it on a very high note.
Leighton September: 6-0 Chelsea
It’s great to be back with club football and that feeling will be shared with the boys at the Bridge! Tuchel said he will field a strong XI and expect a host of goals this weekend. I back the Blues to have a comfortable stroll in the park.
Gabe Henderson: 4-0 Chelsea
The week-long vacation (two-week break from matches) will have done the Blues the world of good. They will return to action in a tune-up before the Club World Cup energized and hungry to get back on track. A comfortable win in the end as the German pairing of Kai Havertz and Timo Werner get back on the scoresheet.
Kevin Peacock: 3-0 Chelsea
Following the winter break, Chelsea starts the month with an FA Cup tie against Plymouth Argyle, four games follow this month, all in different competitions. Tuchel, and for that matter, the Blues, do well in knockout games. This does not bode well for the Green Army. Whoever dons a blue shirt will be good enough to see off the south coast side. Next comp, please.
Nate Hofmann: 3-1 Chelsea
An international break with hardly anyone playing AND a transfer window with no meaningful player movement? It’s been a much needed reprieve for Chelsea, and the upcoming run of eminently winnable fixtures only adds to a sense of optimism that the Blues are ready to turn a corner after a sketchy December and January. A season-defining run of good form starts Saturday.
Olly Smith: 4-1 Chelsea
The cup is always a deadly proposition, and when Plymouth plays with nothing to lose, anything can happen. Tuchel will look to youth once again, but it will be a domineering display from Lewis Hall, Xavier Simons, Jude Soonsup-Bell and Harvey Vale—maybe we’ll even seen Kenedy return to the fold. Either way, it’ll be an exciting one.
Anthony Gatt: 4-0 Chelsea
Tan Yi Hao: 5-0 Chelsea
Tuchel will play an overpowered XI against Plymouth to perhaps help his players regain some match fitness following a long one-and-a-half week break. The Blues will simply have too much in the tank for Plymouth to handle and the home side should come away with a comprehensive win to progress into the next round of the FA Cup.
What is your score prediction? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!