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Chelsea v Stoke City

Chelsea team news: Hazard and Fabregas dropped for Stoke visit

17:07 GMT+3 30/12/2017
Eden Hazard, Chelsea
Antonio Conte has made some key alterations to the starting XI for Saturday's clash at Stamford Bridge, but face a side with six changes to their team

Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas have been dropped to the Chelsea bench for Saturday's game against Stoke City.

The Belgian attacker has been partnering Alvaro Morata up front in recent weeks, but Antonio Conte has left him out of the first XI, allowing Willian and Pedro to start in support of the striker.

Despite also starting in their midweek game against Brighton & Hove Albion, Fabregas has been replaced by the returning Danny Drinkwater, while Tiemoue Bakayoko is also kept in reserve.

Stoke, meanwhile, have made six changes to their first team with Chelsea loanee Kurt Zouma missing from the side that faced Huddersfield in their last game, while his defensive partner Ryan Shawcross is also absent. Instead, Geoff Cameron lines up in the centre of the back-line while Kevin Wimmer moves into the centre and Josh Tymon lines up on the left.

Charlie Adam, Ibrahim Afellay, Ramadan Sobhi, Mame Diouf and Saido Berahino are all starting. 

Chelsea are unbeaten in their last four Premier League matches and sit a point behind second-place Manchester United ahead of their final game of 2017.

Their visitors, however, recently brought an end to a four-game losing streak in the English top flight and have collected four points from their last two matches, having beaten West Bromwich Albion and drawn with Huddersfield. 

Chelsea XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Rudiger, Moses, Kante, Drinkwater, Alonso, Willian, Morata, Pedro

Chelsea subs: Caballero, Christensen, Zappacosta, Fabregas, Bakayoko, Hazard, Batshuayi.

Stoke City XI: Butland; Edwards, Cameron, Wimmer, Tymon; Diouf, Fletcher, Adam, Afellay, Ramadan; Berahino.

Stoke subs: Grant, Allen, Choupo-Moting, Shaqiri, Crouch, Ngoy, Souttar.