FA Cup holders Chelsea get their title defence underway on Saturday when they host Nottingham Forest in the third round.
Chelsea best Manchester United 1-0 in the 2018 final, with Eden Hazard’s 22nd-minute penalty sealing an eighth FA Cup title for the club.
The Blues assistant manager Gianfranco Zola reiterated how important the competition is but said it is difficult to try and play all the best players.
“For me, I always rated it as one of the best. It is open to everyone like football should be. It is an open competition and it feeds the dream of many people. The crowd loves it, everybody does,” he said.
“We are trying to establish ourselves in this championship and we want to do well in the FA Cup. It is a pity the game comes where we have played so many games. You have to try to save some players.”
Callum Hudson-Odoi is fit again following a hamstring injury and could feature on Saturday. Willian, Pedro and Olivier Giroud are out, while Eden Hazard is poised to be rested as Maurizio Sarri prepares to rotate his options.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 5, 2019