Sunday's FA Cup action kicks off with Chelsea against Luton on BBC One. Joe Townsend is backing a Blues winger to help ease the pressure on Frank Lampard.
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Is there a manager who needs to win more this weekend than sack race leader Frank Lampard?
A limp 2-0 defeat at Leicester in midweek continued Chelsea’s dismal run of form - they have won just twice in eight Premier League games - and further increased the pressure on the club legend.
Strange isn't it, that for the majority of Lampard's maiden campaign, the Blues were well-placed to finish in the top four, ultimately doing so, despite being hamstrung by a transfer embargo? More than £200m worth of attacking recruitment later and they look lost; Luton will fancy their chances.
Nathan Jones' side are enjoying a good season in the Sky Bet Championship. After narrowly avoiding relegation last term, they now sit comfortably in 13th.
Their success has been built on resilience. It's common for the Hatters to be involved in tight-ish games, with only three games this season being settled by greater than a two-goal margin, while six of their past 10 matches have seen under 1.5 goals.
Our closest comparison to this fixture from a Luton perspective is their Carabao Cup home tie with Manchester United earlier this term, where a 3-0 away win really didn't tell the whole story - United scored twice in the final two minutes.
But Chelsea have had a similar match-up this season too, as they thumped Barnsley 6-0 at Stamford Bridge in the same competition.
A much-changed XI made light work of Morecambe in round three by sweeping the Sky Bet League Two club aside 4-0, and while Luton will provide a much sterner test, I don't see Lampard's men slipping up at Sunday lunchtime.
Chelsea have failed to score more than once in eight of their last 10 fixtures. Luton have scored five and conceded seven in their past eight - this surely cannot be a goal-fest, can it?
The 15/8 across the board on under 2.5 goals is tempting, but I prefer to combine that angle with a home win. Chelsea/under 3.5 goals is 5/4 with BoyleSports and 3/1 (general) if you knock a goal off. I really like the value in both of those.
Callum Hudson-Odoi was handed a rare league start against Leicester, so one of Lampard's go-to cup men may have to settle for a place on the bench.
But I can't second guess Frank's plans when Unibet are pricing up the England winger at astonishingly long odds in the goalscorer market. His 43/20 to net anytime is streaks ahead of the 13/8 in most other places, and it's the same story for his 15/2 price to break the deadlock.
Hudson-Odoi has scored in two of Chelsea's last four games, and when it comes to the cups - his usual opportunity for a run-out - he has netted in three of his last five appearances.
Taking him each-way is what we'd want ideally, but Unibet don't offer that option. The odds are too good though, so we cannot be turning this down.
Score prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Luton (Sky Bet odds: 5/1)
Odds correct at 2300 GMT (21/01/21)
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