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Ricardo Fuller, Danny Higginbotham and Mamady Sidibe are all sidelined while Matthew Upson is short of match fitness, but Jonathan Woodgate starts for the Potters

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has made his first major decision since taking charge at Stamford Bridge as Fernando Torres has been chosen to start ahead of both Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka for their Premier League opener against Stoke.

The £50 million January signing from Liverpool had suffered concussion whilst on international duty with Spain earlier this week but the striker had been cleared to face Tony Pulis's side on Friday.

Frank Lampard recovered from a throat infection to make it in time for the Blues' first game of the season. There had been some talk that the Portuguese tactician - who makes his managerial debut in the Premier League - would have to make do without John Obi Mikel, but he has shaken off an ankle injury and will take to the pitch for this encounter.

Daniel Sturridge begins a three match suspension and will therefore remain unavailable for the remainder of the month.

For Stoke City, Ricardo Fuller, Danny Higginbotham and Mamady Sidibe are all sidelined with their respective injuries, while Andy Wilkinson - who returned from a toe injury - has to settle for a spot on the bench.

Rory Delap was believed to be carrying a hamstring problem, but makes the starting line-up nonetheless, but Matthew Upson is still short of match fitness and does not make the squad.

Meanwhile, former Tottenham Hotspur defender Jonathan Woodgate returns after a lengthy absence, having last played in the league back in November 2009.

Stoke: Begovic; Huth, Woodgate, Shawcross, Wilson; Pennant, Whelan, Delap, Etherington; Walters, Jones. Subs: Sorensen, Collins, Pugh, Diao, Whitehead, Wilkinson, Shotton

Chelsea:
Cech; Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Mikel, Lampard; Kalou, Torres, Malouda. Subs: Hilario, Ivanovic, Benayoun, Drogba, Ferreira, McEachran, Anelka

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