Over 700 teams have already been whittled down to 64 for tonight’s FA Cup 3rd Round “Proper” draw, which is where Chelsea, the defending champions of the world’s oldest knockout competition™, enter the fray as ball No.12 in the live draw, conducted by Ruud Gullit and Paul Ince at Stamford Bridge, of all places.
This is the fourth and last competition that Chelsea will enter this season. Since we’re still going strong in all the other ones, the early rounds of this competition will (or at least should) once again provide great opportunities for squad rotation and opportunities for youngsters and backups.
“It is an amazing cup. I still remember the first time I played this competition. It was one of the most memorable games I played. It was against Liverpool. It was one of the most electrifying games. I discovered the passion and how important it was for the people.
”Maurizio Sarri knows why the competition is important. We are looking forward to playing in it.”
-Gianfranco Zola; source: BBC
Last year, Chelsea needed a replay and a penalty shootout to get past the third round, but after that it was relatively smooth sailing, with Newcastle United (3-0), Hull City (4-0), Leicester City (2-1, extra time), and Southampton (2-0) all falling by the wayside before Eden Hazard’s penalty win and kick was enough to pip José Mourinho’s Manchester United to the trophy.
This year, the journey begins at home, against Nottingham Forest. If that fixture sounds familiar, it’s because we faced Forest in the 3rd round of the League Cup last season, winning 5-1 thanks to a Batshuayi hat-trick, plus goals from Kenedy and Charly Musonda (hey, remember him?).
Live from Stamford Bridge, we have drawn Nottingham Forest at home in the FA Cup third round! pic.twitter.com/UjqLy6fJ7n— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 3, 2018
The match will be played the weekend of January 4-7, with the exact date and time to be confirmed
The third round draw, in full:
Bolton Wanderers vs. Walsall OR Sunderland
Millwall vs. Hull City
Gillingham vs. Cardiff City
Brentford vs. Oxford United
Sheffield Wednesday vs. Luton Town
Manchester United vs. Reading
Everton vs. Lincoln City
Tranmere Rovers OR Southport vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Preston North End vs. Doncaster Rovers
Newcastle United vs. Blackburn Rovers
CHELSEA vs. Nottingham Forest
Crystal Palace vs. Grimsby Town
Derby County vs. Southampton
Accrington Stanley vs. Ipswich Town
Bristol City vs. Huddersfield Town
Wrexham vs. Leicester City
Fulham vs. Oldham
Shrewsbury Strawberry Town vs. Stoke City
Solihull Moors OR Blackpool vs. Arsenal
Manchester City vs. Rotherham
AFC Bournemouth vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
West Ham United vs. Birmingham City
Woking vs. Watford
Burnley vs. Barnsley
QPR vs. Leeds United
Sheffield United vs. Barnet
Norwich City vs. Portsmouth
Middlesbrough vs. Peterborough United OR Bradford City
Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Liverpool
Aston Villa vs. Swansea City (The Tammy Abraham Derby)