'Will dig in' - Chelsea vs Preston North End shock prediction issued by pundit

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An interesting prediction has been made as Preston North End continue their preparations ahead of their FA Cup visit to Chelsea.

Premier League winning striker Chris Sutton believes Preston North End are capable of a positive result against Chelsea in the FA Cup this weekend.

North End - backed by a sold out away end which will see more than 6,000 fans descend on the capital - face big-spending Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Despite Ryan Lowe playing down the importance of the fixture and admitting his focus will be on getting a result against Bristol City on January 13, there's a belief amongst the media personality they could take the tie back to Deepdale.

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Sutton - who played for the Blues - as well as North End's Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers, where he won the Premier League title - thinks PNE will 'dig in' against Mauricio Pochettino's expensively assembled side. The Blues are enduring somewhat of an injury crisis and up to 10 players could be missing for them.

He said in his BBC Sport column: "Chelsea are already in the Carabao Cup semi-finals and a good run in the FA Cup will be important to Mauricio Pochettino too, although I think Preston will dig in at Stamford Bridge and take them to a replay." Sutton's prediction finishes with a 1-1 scoreline in which the Premier League giants will win the replay.

Some other shocks that the former England striker did predict was that Middlesbrough would knock out Aston Villa, beating them 1-0. It came as no surprise that the former Norwich City striker also tipped bitter rivals Ipswich Town to lose 1-0 to AFC Wimbledon.

League Two side Walsall travel to St Mary's, and Sutton believes the Saddlers will dump in-form Southampton out of the cup with a 2-1 win. His only other shocks include Wrexham beating Shrewsbury 2-1, Eastleigh dumping Newport County out following a 2-2 draw and a 1-0 win for Oxford United against Coventry City.

Chris Sutton's FA Cup third-round predictions

  • Gillingham 0-2 Sheffield United
  • Luton Town 2-1 Bolton Wanderers
  • Nottingham Forest 2-0 Blackpool
  • Wigan Athletic 1-2 Manchester United
  • Fulham 3-0 Rotherham United
  • Sunderland 0-3 Newcastle United
  • QPR 1-2 Bournemouth
  • Stoke City 1-3 Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Chelsea 1-1 Preston North End
  • Middlesbrough 1-0 Aston Villa
  • Manchester City 3-1 Huddersfield Town
  • West Ham 1-0 Bristol City.
  • Crystal Palace 1-1 Everton
  • Brentford 0-2 Wolves
  • Spurs 4-3 Burnley
  • Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool
  • Watford 2-1 Chesterfield
  • West Brom 2-0 Aldershot
  • AFC Wimbledon 1-0 Ipswich Town
  • Plymouth Argyle 4-0 Sutton United
  • Southampton 1-2 Walsall
  • Swansea City 2-0 Morecambe
  • Coventry City 0-1 Oxford United
  • Blackburn Rovers 6-1 Cambridge United
  • Norwich City 1-0 Bristol Rovers
  • Peterborough United 2-3 Leeds United
  • Millwall 1-0 Leicester City
  • Hull City 2-0 Birmingham City
  • Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Cardiff City
  • Maidstone United 0-3 Stevenage
  • Shrewsbury Town 1-2 Wrexham
  • Newport County 2-2 Eastleigh

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