Chelsea vs. Hull City: FA Cup 2018 Preview, Live Stream, TV Info

Chelsea vs. Hull City: FA Cup 2018 Preview, Live Stream, TV Info

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With next to no chance of winning the Premier League and a UEFA Champions League tie with Barcelona to come, the FA Cup takes on increased significance for Chelsea this season.

Hull City are their opponents at Stamford Bridge in the fifth round, making the Blues big favourites to progress into the quarter-finals. Having fallen at the final hurdle against Arsenal last season, you sense this is a competition manager Antonio Conte will be desperate to succeed in.

In truth, it’s a clash the Tigers could probably do without, as they are in a massive fight to keep their second-tier status intact as things stand. Manager Nigel Adkins will hope a strong performance can at least lift spirits.

The viewing details for the fixture are below, as is a preview of what promises to be an intriguing Friday night FA Cup encounter.

       

Date: Friday, February 16

Time: 8 p.m. (GMT)/3 p.m. (ET)

TV Info: BT Sport 2 (U.K.), FOX Sports 2 (U.S.)

Live Stream: BT Sport website (U.K.), FOX Sports Go (U.S.)

       

Preview

There’s a big battle on to finish in the top four in the Premier League, one that Chelsea is at the hub of. But this is a club that has been synonymous with winning silverware in recent years.

Conte will want to finish this turbulent term with some, too, and as things stand, this is the Blues’ best chance of trophy success in 2017-18. They almost squandered it earlier in the competition, when penalties were needed to get the better of Norwich City at the Bridge.

Chelsea supporters will be hoping this assignment is a much more straightforward one, and while Conte will surely make changes to the XI with Barcelona looming, the core of a strong XI will surely take to the field.

There’s a proud reputation for the Blues to protect in this competition, too. As we can see courtesy of Sachin Nakrani of the Guardian, Chelsea have a brilliant record in the FA Cup:

It’s rare to have such a favourable tie at this stage of the tournament, and you sense that a strong Chelsea side would get this won handily, potentially giving Conte the chance to tinker late on, especially if Hull decide to make a number of changes themselves given their current plight in the Championship.

The Tigers managed to earn a vital win against Nottingham Forest at the weekend to push them out of the relegation zone into 21st, but they are just a point clear of the drop zone.

As noted by Philip Buckingham of the Hull Daily Mail, the points and performance were a shock at the City Ground:

After the clash with Chelsea, they also face a trip to Middlesbrough on Tuesday night, so Adkins may opt to prioritise that encounter.

With progression in the FA Cup in mind and Barcelona to come in the Champions League, it’s about as ideal a fixture the Blues could have at this point. They should dominate the ball, shouldn’t face too much firepower from the visitors and should make this into a routine Friday evening runout.

Hull will take a decent following, and those on the field for them will surely raise their game in line with the occasions. However, the travelling support will head back north with second-tier survival their sole focus for the remainder of the season.

Breaking Sports News

via Bleacher Report – Front Page http://ift.tt/yO6Sgr

February 14, 2018 at 11:37PM

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