Chelsea will be aiming to reach the Fifth Round of the FA Cup for the sixth time in seven seasons on Sunday at Stamford Bridge.
Standing in their way is fellow English Premier League side Newcastle United, who are currently managed by ex-Blues boss Rafael Benitez.
The Spaniard has overseen the Magpies since March 2016 and despite taking his side down to the Sky Bet Championship two months after arriving, Benítez guided Newcastle United back up to the top flight at the first time of asking.
During his time as the manager of Chelsea, Benitez guided The Blues to the UEFA Europa League title and won 28 of his 48 games as interim boss.
This weekend’s opponents have not faced each other in the world’s oldest cup competition since 2006, when an early goal from John Terry guided The Blues to a 1-0 victory over The Magpies to send them into the semi-finals.
Their last meeting at this stage of the competition took place in 1950, with a double from Hugh Billington aiding Chelsea to a 3-0 victory.
Chelsea’s morale could be low going into Sunday’s meeting after The Blues exited the Carabao Cup at the last four stage thanks to London rivals Arsenal, which also ended a 12-match unbeaten run. Newcastle United meanwhile have only lost two of their last seven matches, both of which have been against league leaders Manchester City.
Both sides reached the Fourth Round of the competition with home victories over lower league opposition. The Magpies were 3-1 winners over Sky Bet League Two leaders Luton Town, whilst Chelsea were forced to a replay and a penalty shootout before they knocked Sky Bet Championship side Norwich City out of the competition.
Benitez’s clubs of past and present will both make changes in SW6 this weekend, but I am confident that Chelsea will field enough firepower to see off the men from Tyneside.
Score Prediction: Chelsea 3-1 Newcastle United
By Jonty Colman