Michael Owen has predicted Chelsea to claim a comfortable victory against Barnsley when they meet in the FA Cup fifth-round at Oakwell on Wednesday.
The Tykes will be significant underdogs in South Yorkshire, although having already surprised Championship leaders Norwich City in the previous round, Valerien Ismael’s men will be eyeing another shock as they bid to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in eight seasons.
But Barnsley come into the game in a difficult moment, and are still winless in the league in 2021 – with their only two victories coming against Tranmere and Norwich in this competition.
Quiz: Did each of these 18 ex-Barnsley players ever score a goal at Oakwell?
Meanwhile, Chelsea are heading in the right direction under the guidance of recently appointed Thomas Tuchel – with Sunday’s win at Sheffield United making it 10 points from four matches since the German replaced Frank Lampard last month.
And Owen expects Chelsea to claim a fourth straight win at Oakwell. He told Bet Victor:
“It’s been so far, so good for Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea. The Blues certainly look more solid and come into this with their tails up after a good run of results.
“Barnsley will be hoping Chelsea will have an off day here and even if that was the case they’d need to be at their very best.
“I can only see this one going one way, and that’s with Chelsea being in the draw for the quarter-finals.”
Whilst it would be great to see Barnsley produce another magical night at Oakwell, just as they did in the quarter-finals back in 2008, I simply cannot see it.
With Premier League and Champions League games coming thick and fast, Tuchel is expected to make changes, although with Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham those that are likely to come into the side, it’s going to be extremely difficult for the Tykes, especially without supporters.