Barnsley vs. Chelsea – FA Cup, February 11, 2021
Thomas Tuchel has an ideal chance to maintain his unbeaten start as Chelsea manager when the Blues visit Championship side Barnsley in the FA Cup fifth round on Thursday, February 11.
Three wins and a draw have seen Chelsea move to within one point of the top four in EPL, while Barnsley sits twelfth in the second-tier standings – nine points outside the play-off places.
Read on to see my Barnsley vs. Chelsea prediction and betting pick.
Barnsley vs. Chelsea Odds
As expected, 10bet views Chelsea (1.30) as the clear favorite to win this one. Given the start that the Blues have made under Tuchel, the prices for this matchup don’t surprise me.
But we all know that the FA Cup dishes up freak results year after year. For that reason, the sky-high odds for the home win (8.75) and the draw (5.50) are bound to attract some attention here.
Let’s take a closer look at the teams.
Barnsley vs. Chelsea Preview
Unfortunately, Barnsley doesn’t have happy recent memories of facing Chelsea.
Back in September, the two sides were drawn against each other in the EFL Cup third round. Needless to say, the Championship team was completely outclassed by the EPL giant, with Chelsea claiming a 6-0 thrashing at Stamford Bridge.
But since then, the Tykes have gradually been climbing up the second-tier table.
Valerien Ismael’s men have won exactly half of their last 20 league games. The Frenchman replaced Gerhard Struber in October, and he has since managed to guide the club into the top half of the Championship standings.
The Tykes beat Tranmere Rovers 2-0 in the FA Cup third round before edging Norwich City 1-0 in the previous round. However, Chelsea poses a completely different threat altogether.
I think it’s fair to say that Chelsea is enjoying a customary “new manager bounce” under Thomas Tuchel.
Frank Lampard was sacked following a poor run of five defeats in eight Premier League games. But as if by magic, Tuchel has come in and picked up ten points from a possible 12, securing one draw and three straight wins.
Of course, the players are still adapting to the new manager’s approach. But the new reign’s early signs are promising.
Perhaps most importantly, the Blues have kept three clean sheets in four games since Tuchel arrived. Attacking players like Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic have impressed recently, but the team’s defensive efforts have stood out.
The new boss will now be aiming to extend his unbeaten start with a positive result at Oakwell. Thankfully for him, I don’t think that will be too difficult.
Barnsley vs. Chelsea Pick
Chelsea to Win1.30
Granted, odds of 1.30 aren’t worth getting too excited about. But when you look at the bigger picture, this is actually a decent price. Chelsea is likely to wipe the floor with Barnsley, so backing the away side to advance to the quarter-finals makes a lot of sense.
I recommend checking out the goal and clean sheet markets for this game, too. However, if you’re looking for a safe FA Cup bet this week, look no further than this game. I’m expecting the Blues to beat Barnsley and book their spot in the last eight with ease.