League One side Plymouth Argyle travel to west London on Saturday morning dreaming of what would be a remarkable cup upset against European champions Chelsea, the first meeting between these two clubs in 85 years. Saturday's game begins a hectic run of games across six competitions for the Blues, who fly out to Abu Dhabi next week for the FIFA Club World Cup before the Champions League round of 16 and EFL Cup final later this month.
Though the coming weeks look daunting, Thomas Tuchel's side have at least been able to recover their energy reserves during the international break, a period where Plymouth took four points from away games at Fleetwood Town and Doncaster as they bid for a playoff berth in League One. Here is how you can watch the game and what you need to know:
Date: Saturday, Feb. 4 | Time: 7:30 a.m. ET
Location: Stamford Bridge -- London, United Kingdom
TV and live stream: ESPN+
Odds: Chelsea -1600; Draw +1000; Plymouth +3500 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Chelsea: With such a momentous fixture list ahead of him, Tuchel may well opt to heavily rotate his side at Stamford Bridge though he may be able to use center backs Trevoh Chalobah and Andreas Christensen, who have used the past fortnight to recover from injuries sustained before the international break.
Two of the trio of Chelsea first teamers playing for their countries during that period may well be held in reserve, though Tuchel revealed that Christian Pulisic will not be in line for any minutes as returns from Concacaf qualifiers. Thiago Silva is more likely to be rested while Edouard Mendy is unavailable; he has an Africa Cup of Nations final to prepare for.
Plymouth: A cup tie at Stamford Bridge will be a surreal moment for many associated with the Pilgrims, not least manager Steven Schumacher, just two months into his first managerial job after former boss Ryan Lowe quit for Preston. "It's mad," he said. "My mate, who I worked with at Everton's academy, texted me as soon as we beat Birmingham City [in the third round] and we got the draw on the Sunday and said 'You're going from managing Everton under-11s to playing against the champions of Europe in four years!'
"So, yeah, it is a bit surreal but I'm quite level-headed and I try and take everything in my stride and just enjoy the moment." Plymouth do not have to look far back in the history books for inspiration, it is only seven years since fellow League One side Bradford won 4-2 at Stamford Bridge at this stage of the FA Cup.
Whatever side Chelsea name it should be good enough to ease to a comfortable win in west London. PICK: Chelsea 3 Plymouth 0