Chelsea go back to basics for Everton replay
Chelsea will make a second attempt to get past Everton and reach the FA Cup fifth round on Saturday - and for once manager Carlo Ancelotti does not have to worry about the form of Fernando Torres.
The Spain striker, who has attracted a mountain of criticism following his two goalless appearances for his new club, is cup-tied having played for Liverpool in the 1-0 defeat at Manchester United in the third round last month. And that will enable Ancelotti to turn the clock back and revert to the strike partnership that won him the Premier League and FA Cup double last season: Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka.
Drogba had to wait 71 minutes to get on the pitch in Monday's 0-0 draw with Fulham that kept Chelsea out of the Premier League top four, and knows there is plenty of speculation suggesting he could be sold in the summer. The Ivorian international, who turns 33 next month, has scored only four times since the first week of November and has also had to recover from a bout of malaria this season.
The two sides meet at Stamford Bridge following a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park on 29 January when Salomon Kalou's equaliser cancelled out an Everton opener from Louis Saha.
One new Chelsea addition who will be able to play is defender David Luiz, who cost £21 million from Benfica last month. The Brazilian had the misfortune to concede a penalty at Fulham, which was saved by Petr Cech, but his new goalkeeper has already declared himself impressed with the rest of his contributions. "He had an impressive start when he came in against Liverpool," Cech said. "I think he's been doing really well so it just shows why Chelsea bought him."
The FA Cup represents the most realistic chance of silverware for both sides, who met in the FA Cup final in 2009 when Chelsea recovered from going behind to Saha's first-minute goal to win 2-1. Midfielder Frank Lampard, who scored the winner that day, is still harbouring hopes of going all the way in the UEFA Champions League however, and would be prepared to sacrifice the Premier League to achieve that.
"It's a horrible question - but I would say I would," the England international admitted. "I hate putting one above the other but having won three Premier League titles the Champions League is the one to win."
The FA Cup has long been a second-class competition as far as the regular Champions League qualifiers are concerned but Everton supporters would be delighted to see the famous trophy lifted in May.
The Toffees have not beaten Chelsea in the FA Cup for 55 years but midfielder Seamus Coleman was confident of ending that barren run. "We have drawn with them twice this season and probably in the FA Cup game at Goodison we had the better of them," said the Republic of Ireland international.
"We know they aren't unbeatable and we'll be going down there confident of getting a result. We had enough chances in the game to finish it off at Goodison and their 'keeper made a couple of good saves."
Coleman is expected to be up against Chelsea's England international left-back Ashley Cole. "I've played against him a couple of times already this season and hopefully on Saturday I can get the upper hand," he said.
The winners will be at home to Championship side Reading in the fifth round.