Chelsea vs Hull City Live Stream 16-Feb-2018
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is without the injured David Luiz, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Ross Barkley for Friday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie against Hull.
Conte will rotate his squad for the game, with fixtures against Barcelona, Manchester United and Manchester City on the horizon.
But he said a strong cup run was high on his list of priorities for the rest of the season.
“We have in front of us two weeks that are very tough,” he said.
“It’s right to have a programme, to have a plan, to face these two tough weeks in the right way.
“At the same time, as you know very well, we want to try to go through to the next round in the FA Cup.”
Striker Olivier Giroud (calf) and defender Marcos Alonso (ankle) face a late test to be fit for the fifth-round match.
Chelsea are fourth in the Premier League, 19 points adrift of leaders City with 11 games left, but Conte said it was vital to maintain their advantage over Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, who are directly below them in the league.
“When you start a season, every competition is a priority,” he said. “We want to try to fight for every competition. There are three priorities for us in the rest of the season.”
Chelsea is also in the Champions League, hosting Barcelona in the last 16 next Tuesday.
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Hull come into the FA Cup contest on the back of a 2-1 fourth round win over Arsenal’s conquerors Nottingham Forest.
Manager Nigel Adkins will be without a trio of defenders on loan from Chelsea – Michael Hector, Ola Aina and Fikayo Tomori – who are ineligible to face their parent club.
Midfielder Seb Larsson is serving the first of a two-game ban, while captain Michael Dawson and winger Kamil Grosicki will have late fitness tests.
“It gives other players an opportunity,” Adkins said. “I know what we’re going to do, but we’ll leave people to discover that when the teamsheet goes in 75 minutes before kick-off.
“It’s a challenging scenario, and like I’ve said we will need a little bit of cup magic to help us.”
This will be the first FA Cup meeting between these two sides since a third-round match in December 1999, which Chelsea won 6-1 away from home – their joint-biggest away win in the competition and the only time they’ve scored six on the road in the competition.
In all competitions, the Blues have never lost at home against Hull City, winning 17 – including their last four – and drawing five.
Chelsea have progressed from nine of their last 10 fifth round FA Cup ties, with their only loss coming against Manchester City in 2014.
The Tigers have won only three of their last 19 FA Cup ties against top-flight opponents. However, they won their most recent encounter with a Premier League club, beating Swansea City 2-0 in January 2017.
The Blues have scored 127 goals in 44 FA Cup games at Stamford Bridge since last failing to score at home in March 1999 (averaging 2.9 goals per game).
Hull have kept four clean sheets in their last seven matches under Nigel Adkins, having kept just four across the preceding 30 games.