Chelsea - Stoke City Preview: Blues look to continue revival under Roberto di Matteo
After their impressive 2-0 FA Cup replay win over Birmingham City, the home side will be hoping to improve their Premier League form, and put the pressure on Arsenal in fourth
By Chris Teale
Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz, Cole
Lampard, Ramires, Meireles
Sturridge, Drogba, Mata
Huth, Woodgate, Shawcross, Shotton
Whelan, Wilson, Whitehead, Etherington
Having rested a number of their key players in the midweek FA Cup win over Bimringham City, Roberto di Matteo is likely to restore a number of them to the starting line-up. Ashley Cole is doubtful with an ankle injury, but should recover in time but fellow full-back Jose Bosingwa is unlikely to return.
Captain John Terry has described his recovery from knee surgery as "incredible" and could take a place in the starting lineup here.
After their impressive 1-0 win over Norwich City in their last match, Tony Pulis is unlikely to make many changes to his side. However, Andy Wilkinson was taken off with a hamstring injury against the Canaries, and may not be risked in the centre of defence.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Chelsea’s Fernando Torres last scored on October 19th 2011 against Genk in the Champions League, with his current barren spell standing at 23 matches in all competitions, and nearly 24 hours.
- Chelsea have won only three of their last 12 Premier League games, a run of form which cost former manager Anrde Villas-Boas his job.
- However, the Blues have lost just once at home in their last seven Premier League matches, when they were defeated 3-1 by Aston Villa on December 31 thanks to goals from Stephen Ireland, Stiliyan Petrov and Darren Bent.
- Chelsea’s Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou (pictured right) have enjoyed a great deal of scoring success in the Premier League against Stoke City, with three goals apiece.
- These two teams first met this season on the opening day, with the game ending in a 0-0 draw at the Britannia Stadium thanks to some resolute Stoke defending in a game of few clear chances.
- Chelsea and have won all three of their previous encounters with Stoke at Stamford Bridge since the Potters' promotion, scoring 16 goals.
- After a run of four straight defeats in January, Stoke’s form has improved thanks to two straight wins over Swansea and Norwich City at the Britannia Stadium which have kept them in the top half of the table.
- Like their hosts, Stoke have enjoyed success in the FA Cup this season, reaching the quarter-finals thanks to a 2-0 victory away to Crawley Town. The Potters will face Liverpool in yet another away tie, their fourth in four rounds.
- Stoke’s Glenn Whelan recently became Stoke’s most-capped player of all-time in winning his 37th cap for the Republic of Ireland in a recent friendly against the Czech Republic. Whelan beat legendary goalkeeper Gordon Banks’ record, who made 36 appearances for England while with the Potters.
- Robert Huth began his career in English football with Chelsea, making his debut at the age of 17 in the 2001-02 season. In five years with the Blues, Huth made 42 appearances before moving to Middlesbrough and then on to Stoke.
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Top 3 Predictions
Chelsea FC 3-0 Stoke City
- 24.96 %
Chelsea FC 2-0 Stoke City
- 20.59 %
Chelsea FC 3-1 Stoke City
- 13.44 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||5 Apr 2014||Chelsea FC 3 - Stoke City 0|
|England - FA Cup (FA)||26 Jan 2014||Chelsea FC 1 - Stoke City 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||7 Dec 2013||Stoke City 3 - Chelsea FC 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||12 Jan 2013||Stoke City 0 - Chelsea FC 4|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||22 Sep 2012||Chelsea FC 1 - Stoke City 0|
|13 Apr 2014||Swansea City 0 - Chelsea FC 1||EPL|
|8 Apr 2014||Chelsea FC 2 - Paris Saint-Germain 0||UCL|
|5 Apr 2014||Chelsea FC 3 - Stoke City 0||EPL|
|2 Apr 2014||Paris Saint-Germain 3 - Chelsea FC 1||UCL|
|29 Mar 2014||Crystal Palace 1 - Chelsea FC 0||EPL|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|
Times In IST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed