'Hope he plays': Plymouth midfielder says he really wants to come up against 26-year-old Chelsea player in FA Cup

Plymouth Argyle midfielder Jordan Houghton has said he’s desperate to come up against Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek this weekend in the FA Cup.

League One side Plymouth travel to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon to face English giants Chelsea in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Houghton, who previously played in Chelsea’s academy, is eager to come up against some familiar faces. For instance, he played alongside Loftus-Cheek and Andreas Christensen at youth level for the Blues.

He explains it would be brilliant to face ex-teammate Loftus-Cheek at the weekend:

“I want to come up against Ruben in midfield, I’ve never played against him before and I hope he plays,” Houghton said.

“They (Loftus-Cheek and Christensen) are two top players who have played a lot of games for Chelsea, and I am sure have a lot more to give as well.

“Me and Ruben are good friends, we came through the ranks together and both of us were at the club from the age of nine.

“To come up against each other at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup is something that will be really, really good.”

Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Loftus-Cheek should get Chelsea minutes

Loftus-Cheek’s not played a lot in the past six weeks due to a combination of team selection, injuries and illnesses. The Chelsea Chronicle has named him in the predicted starting line-up to face Plymouth, though.

The 26-year-old knows his role within the current squad isn’t as a nailed-on starter.

However, the Chelsea academy graduate has still made 20 appearances across all competitions so far this season.

The central midfielder is someone manager Thomas Tuchel can look towards for fresh legs in the XI, plus he offers more of a physical presence compared to several of his teammates.

These domestic cup competitions are vital for individuals in the squad like Loftus-Cheek, who are likely to play second fiddle when the crunch matches come around in the Champions League or Premier League.

His contract at the Bridge doesn’t expire until 2024, so it’s interesting to see how his future plays out come the summer.

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A sports journalist who graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016 and is a Chelsea supporter. Loves anything football or cricket related when it comes to England.