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Match Previews


8 January 2016

The Iron travel to Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday for their televised clash against the Premier League champions.

The game will be live on BT Sport and Mark Robins’ side will go into the game as underdogs against their top flight opponents.

They will be encouraged by the indifferent form of Chelsea though, with the Blues finding themselves nearer the bottom of the league than the top.

Guus Hiddink has recently taken over from Jose Mourinho and their form has steadily improved, including an impressive 3-0 win at Crystal Palace.

Chelsea could see the FA Cup as a good opportunity to add some silverware to what has been a disappointing season so far.

Mark Robins will be able to welcome Murray Wallace back into contention as he joined the club again on a permanent basis.

Other new signing Conor Townsend is unavailable though as he has already played for Grimsby in the competition.

Tom Hopper and Gary McSheffrey are both injured and will not feature in the clash at Stamford Bridge, while Dave Syers, Isaac Assenso and Terry Hawkridge departed the club in the week.

Whilst the team has struggled for form this campaign, Willian has really excelled in the Chelsea midfield and has chipped in with valuable goals.

The Brazilian started out in his homeland, playing for Corinthians, where his form attracted interest from European side Shakhtar Donetsk.

He moved to the Ukrainian giants for €14m and went on to win four league titles with them, and also a UEFA Cup in 2008/09.

Willian was an integral part of the Shakhtar side before he joined Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala in January 2013 for a fee of €35m.

The midfielder joined Chelsea in August 2013 though as the Russian club transfer listed their whole squad, and has gone on to become a valuable member of the Blues’ squad.

He has been a regular since he joined, but this season has been his best as he has shone in the team and developed a reputation from dead-ball situations.

Willian is a regular for his country Brazil too, winning 30 caps in his career to date.

The Iron’s last match against the Premier League giants also came in this competition, with the Blues surviving an early scare to win 3-1.

Paul Hayes gave United a shock eighth minute lead at Stamford Bridge, but Jose Mourinho’s side soon hit back to win.

Striker Mateja Kezman levelled the score midway through the first half, but it took until the hour mark for the Blues to take the lead.

Andy Crosby scored an unfortunate own goal to give the hosts the lead, which was then extended a few minutes before the final whistle.

Icelandic striker Eidur Gudjohnsen added the third with four minutes left to send Chelsea through, but it was a very spirited performance from the Iron.

The game has completely sold out.

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