Barnsley vs Chelsea| Tuesday 11th February 2021, 20:15 | BBC1
Chelsea travel to South Yorkshire for the second time in five days as they face Barnsley in the FA Cup for chance to reach the quarter-finals.
Thomas Tuchel has won cup competitions with both Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain already in his managerial career and what a start it would be if he were to get some silverware here this season.
Life at Chelsea under the new regime has started very well with 3 wins and 1 draw in under two weeks. They face Barnsley side who themselves are having a great season, sat in 12th and already looking upwards rather than over their shoulders.
The Tykes have only lost 4 home games this term, with 3 of those coming to promotion hopefuls Bournemouth, Swansea and Brentford. That is a great record for a team that survived by the skin of their teeth last season.
This should be a win for Chelsea considering the gulf in class. Tuchel has brought some players in from the cold to make his squad much deeper with the likes of Marcos Alonso and Antonio Rudiger both playing well.
However, one man who seems to have benefited best from the introduction of the new manager is Callum Hudson-Odoi. He has started 3 of the 4 Premier League games Tuchel has taken charge of, ranging from right wing-back to right forward.
The young Englishman has registered tallies of 2 (1 on target), 2 and 3 shots in those 3 starts and enjoyed an assist to his name against Burnley last month. Tuchel has taken fondly to Hudson-Odoi and first impressions suggest he could be a key man to their resurgence, especially considering Tuchel’s celebrations with him at full-time against Sheffield United.
Whether he starts this cup tie at Barnsley remains unclear but, in many ways, it could be a telling decision. Frank Lampard regularly utilised him in cup competitions but less so in the league, so if Tuchel opts to rest him again, perhaps that is a sign he is key to his tenure.
Or, if you view it from a different perspective, Tuchel playing CHO could suggest he dare not leave him out again. He is widely priced at 15/8 to get his name on the scoresheet, but this is something he hasn’t done since early January. Yet Betfair/Paddy Power quotes of 11/10 for him to hit the target, and have 2+ shots on target at 13/2, look too big.
He has had 2 shots in all 3 of his starts under his new German coach and if elected to start in South Yorkshire, his shots prices take much more appeal over other attackers. He has only hit the target once but against weaker opposition I fancy him to test the Barnsley goalkeeper Brad Collins. If he doesn’t start, I would cash out.