Chelsea - Stoke Preview: Blues look for response after Champions League draw
After their being held at home by Juventus, the Roberto Di Matteo's men return to Premier League action against a Potters side that have drawn all four of their games
By Chris Teale
Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz, Cole
Ramires, Mikel, Lampard
Hazard, Torres, Mata
Shotton, Huth, Shawcross, Wilson
Walters, Adam, Kightly
Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge remains a doubt after being ruled out of the club’s 2-2 draw with Juventus in the Champions League.
Oscar, who scored a brace in that game, was subbed off with an ankle injury in that game, and is doubtful.
Otherwise, Chelsea have no injuries or suspensions, so have a strong squad to choose from.
Meanwhile, Stoke defender Andy Wilkinson is banned after being sent off in the game at home to Manchester City, and could be replaced by Ryan Shotton.
Mamady Sidibe is still recovering from a groin injury he sustained in training, and is unlikely to make this game while Jamie Ness is also a doubt with a groin injury.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Chelsea have lost just one of their last 11 Premier League games at Stamford Bridge.
- In April 2012, Forbes magazine ranked Chelsea as the seventh most valuable football club in the world, at £743 million.
- Last season, these two sides played out a 0-0 draw on the opening day at the Britannia Stadium, before Chelsea prevailed 1-0 at Stamford Bridge thanks to a goal from Didier Drogba.
- However, in April 2010, Stoke suffered a 7-0 defeat in the fixture between these sides at Stamford Bridge, thanks to a hat-trick from Salomon Kalou and a brace from Frank Lampard.
- Stoke have failed to score in any of their last four visits to Chelsea.
- Potters defender Robert Huth (pictured right) was once part of Chelsea’s first-team squad, and made 42 appearances for the club in the Premier League before leaving for Middlesbrough in 2006.
- Geoff Cameron joined Stoke this summer from MLS side Houston Dynamo, having been selected for the league’s all-star game against Manchester United in 2011.
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Top 3 Predictions
Chelsea FC 2-0 Stoke City
- 18.06 %
Chelsea FC 3-0 Stoke City
- 16 %
Chelsea FC 3-1 Stoke City
- 13.19 %
|Premier League (EPL)||7 Dec 2013||Stoke City 3 - Chelsea FC 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||12 Jan 2013||Stoke City 0 - Chelsea FC 4|
|Premier League (EPL)||22 Sep 2012||Chelsea FC 1 - Stoke City 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||10 Mar 2012||Chelsea FC 1 - Stoke City 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||14 Aug 2011||Stoke City 0 - Chelsea FC 0|
|7 Dec 2013||Stoke City 3 - Chelsea FC 2||EPL|
|4 Dec 2013||Sunderland 3 - Chelsea FC 4||EPL|
|1 Dec 2013||Chelsea FC 3 - Southampton 1||EPL|
|26 Nov 2013||Basel 1 - Chelsea FC 0||UCL|
|23 Nov 2013||West Ham 0 - Chelsea FC 3||EPL|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|
Eden Hazard has been in sensational form so far this season, with opposition defences unable to prevent him slicing them open with his incisive passes. If he continues to provide the number of assists and to be an effective attacking outlet, Stoke will have real problems.
Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic will need to have a very good game to keep Chelsea’s attackers at bay. Begovic is highly rated by a number of Premier League teams, and will need to be on top form to prevent Chelsea’s irresistible attack from racking up the goals.
If Stoke were at home, they might fancy sneaking a point in the very intimidating surroundings at the Britannia Stadium. However, given that this game is at Stamford Bridge, and Chelsea are looking for a reaction after their disappointing 2-2 draw with Juventus during the week, the Blues should prevail comfortably.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed