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Chelsea vs Preston tips and predictions: Back Blues to pull away in second half

Chelsea will host Championship side Preston North End at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening (1730 GMT) in the FA Cup and we’re predicting the visitors will crumble late on.

Since League Two Bradford stunned Premier League Chelsea in 2015, the Blues have lost just two of 25 FA Cup home ties inside 90 minutes.

Prior to a 4-0 loss to Man City in last season's competition, the London club had begun their cup campaign by defeating lower league teams in eight consecutive seasons.

Preston boss Ryan Lowe has talked up the size of the tie for North End but truth be told, everything points towards a routine win for the Premier League side.

Preston have lost four of five in the Championship and they’ve been on the wrong end of some lopsided scores this season.

Watford (5-1), Middlesbrough (4-0), West Brom (4-0), Ipswich (4-2) and Leicester (3-0) have handed them heavy defeats since their unbeaten start to the season crashed to a halt.

It’s also worth noting they’ve fallen at the first hurdle in the FA Cup in six of eight seasons and they haven’t progressed beyond the fourth round since 2015.

Chelsea’s expensively assembled squad is arguably the deepest in the league and although they’ve eight dates until they face Luton, Saturday may be a chance to utilise the squad.

Christopher Nkunku, Enzo Fernandez, Raheem Sterling, Ian Maatsen and Mykhailo Mudryk all came off the bench last weekend and could start against Preston.

Regardless of the team they field, Preston concede far too many chances and they’ve also struggled to create recently, so we’re backing a comfortable home win to nil.

The majority of goals in their games have come in the second half, so as long as they can stay organised in the early stages, the second half should be the highest-scoring.

 

Key stats

-  This is the first meeting since Chelsea won 2-0 in an FA Cup tie in 2010
-  Chelsea are unbeaten in six matches at home, scoring 14 goals in the process
-  Preston have lost nine of 11 FA Cup ties, conceding 26 goals in the process

 

Suggested bets

Highest scoring half: Second

Chelsea to win both halves

Chelsea to win to nil

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