PMB: Chelsea v Forest - history and tactics

We complete our preview for the game with a glance at the past and at tonight from club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton…



This is the first meeting between the sides since an FA Cup tie in 2007. The last time we met in the league was in 1998/99. Chelsea have won every major cup-tie between the two clubs, who have only been drawn together once before in the League Cup.

In the 1971/72 version of this competition, the teams were paired for a Round Three game at the City Ground. Dave Sexton’s Chelsea men suffered the worst possible start when Duncan McKenzie hit the net for Forest after just 25 seconds. Things appeared to worsen when Chris Garland was forced off with an ankle injury at half-time, David Webb moving upfront. However, from a move he instigated, Webb headed the Blues level after 63 minutes from a John Boyle cross.

Chelsea won the replay 2-1 at Stamford Bridge five days later, on Monday 11 October 1971. Again it was Forest who opened the scoring, this time through Ian Storey-Moore, who diverted Paul Richardson’s shot out of Peter Bonetti’s reach.

The Blues were stung into action but reserve goalie Eric Hulme was equal to everything Tommy Baldwin and Peter Osgood fired at him until the 64th minute. Then Ossie nodded on John Hollins’ cross and Baldwin beat Hulme from close range.

Winger Peter Houseman left the field with an injured shoulder and it was his replacement, left-back Eddie McCreadie, who flighted a cross for Osgood to head the winner. Chelsea reached the final that season, unexpectedly losing to Stoke at Wembley.

Chelsea Peter Bonetti, John Boyle, Ron Harris (c), John Hollins, David Webb, Marvin Hinton, Charlie Cooke, Tommy Baldwin, Peter Osgood, Alan Hudson, Peter Houseman (Eddie McCreadie 64).
Manager Dave Sexton
Scorers Baldwin 63, Osgood 66

Forest Eric Hulme, Peter Hindley (c), John Winfield, Bob Chapman, Liam O’Kane, Paul Richardson, Barry Lyons, Duncan McKenzie, Neil Martin (Thomas White 83), Tommy Jackson, Ian Storey-Moore.
Manager Matt Gillies
Scorer Storey-Moore 24

Attendance 24,817

The most recent FA Cup meeting at the Bridge was in Round 4 in January 2007 during the last full season of Jose Mourinho’s first spell in charge. Forest, third in League One at the time, failed to trouble the hosts. ‘It was a dream tie, and we played in a dream,’ admitted their manager Colin Calderwood afterwards.

Andriy Shevchenko’s deflected volley (pictured below), a curling Didier Drogba free-kick, and a stab home by John Mikel Obi had the game sewn up by half-time. Sixteen-year-old midfielder Michael Woods and came off the bench to make his second and last appearance for the Blues. Chelsea went on to win the final, the first at the new Wembley, by beating Manchester United.


On 20 September 2003, Argentina striker Hernan Crespo came off the bench to score two goals (the first for his new club) and seal a 5-0 whacking of Wolves – the Blues’ biggest away win since the legendary 6-1 at the Lane of December 1997.


Our own Pat Nevin played the day his compatriot, left-back John Millar, suffered a Chelsea career-ending afternoon at the feet of Forest winger Franz Carr in a 2-6 game in 1986 (pictured below). The most goals the Blues have ever put past Forest at the Bridge currently stands at just four. In contrast, over the years the Midlanders have used Chelsea as a punch-bag from time to time. Another ignominious defeat at their hands included a 0-6 in March 1979, when half-a-dozen flashed past Peter Borota (three by Martin O’Neill) in 27 ridiculous minutes.

Even worse was the 0-7 in April 1991 that took up two pages on Ceefax. ‘I don’t want to go through that again,’ commented the visitors’ goalkeeper Dave Beasant, echoing the thoughts of everyone who made the journey.


Other cup meetings

Other Cup meetings
1933/34FA Cup fourth roundChelsea 1 Nottm Forest 1
FA Cup fourth round replayNott'm Forest 0 Chelsea 3
1988/89Full Members’ Cup third roundChelsea 1 Nott'm Forest 4
1999/00FA Cup fourth roundChelsea 2 Nott'm Forest 0
2006/07FA Cup fourth roundChelsea 3 Nott'm Forest 0

Biggest win at Stamford Bridge for each team

27/09/1958 - Chelsea 4-1 Nottingham Forest - Division One

20/09/1986 - Chelsea 2-6 Nottingham Forest - Division One


All-time biggest win

31/08/1925 - Nottingham Forest 1-5 Chelsea - Division Two





•            Antonio Conte said yesterday that there maybe opportunities for Kenedy, 21, and Charly Musonda, 20, tonight but also confirmed his desire to progress in this competition. As was the case in last year’s competition, he may field a strong team with several changes from the starting 11 of the previous Premier League game. We might expect Willy Caballero, Toni Rudiger, Davide Zappacosta, Timoue Bakayoko, and title-winning goalscorer Michy Batshuayi to be involved from the outset.


•            David Luiz’s red card at the weekend means he will miss tonight’s match and those against Stoke and Manchester City, though not the trip to play Atletico Madrid a week today. Conte publicly placed his faith in 21-year-old Andreas Christensen filling the Brazilian’s central defensive boots, but could keep him fresh for Saturday’s difficult test against the Potters.


•            The Italian also suggested Player of the Year Eden Hazard will make his first start of the season and Chelsea players will have watched how Wolves were able to punish some unforced errors by Nottingham Forest at the weekend. The Blues’ pressing is intended to win possession high up the field in that fashion, and there are few teams quicker to goal than the west Londoners. 

•            Nottingham Forest coach Paul Warburton has said he aims to make the 4,000 traveling supporters proud but, with Championship success the Midlands club’s priority and Aston Villa away looming on Saturday, he seems certain shuffle his squad. At Newcastle in the previous round he made six changes from the league team the weekend before and still left Tyneside with an extra-time win despite conceding first.


•            Forest lost 2-1 at home to Wolves last weekend. They played some attractive passing football but did not carve out many clear chances and the old gold side’s winner came from the ball being given away.


•             Ben Brereton, Zach Clough, Kieran Dowell, Barrie McKay and Ben Osborn have been used behind leading goalscorer Daryl Murphy, formerly of Newcastle, in Warburton’s favoured 4-2-3-1 formation. Brereton has pace and power, and likes to take people on. Wingers Mustapha Carayol and Tyler Walker have made an impact off the bench this season. Carayol showed his eye for goal with a 25-yard snap finish at the weekend. Former Chelsea youngster Michael Mancienne (pictured below) may start on his old stomping ground.




Danny Drinkwater (calf)


Pedro (ankle)


David Luiz (first of three)


Nottingham Forest


Matthew Cash (ankle)

Jamie Ward (calf)

Chris Cohen (knee)