Having booked their place in the FA Cup semi-finals, the Blues remain on course for a domestic double and will be looking to extend their lead at the summit of the English top flight by grinding out another away win.
|Game||Stoke City vs Chelsea|
|Date||Saturday, March 18, 2017|
|Time||15:00 GMT, 11:00 ET|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
The match will not be available to watch live on television in the UK due to the blackout in effect from 14:45 to 17:15 on Saturday afternoons.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
In the US, the match will be available to watch live on television on NBCSN and by stream via NBC's website, with coverage beginning at 10:30 ET and 07:30 PT.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Position||Stoke City players|
|Defenders||Bardsley, Peters, Muniesa, Johnson, Shawcross, Cameron, Martins Indi|
|Midfielders||Whelan, Afellay, Adam, Imbula, Shaqiri, Sobhi, Allen|
|Forwards||Arnautovic, Diouf, Walters, Crouch, Ngoy, Bony, Berahino|
Glen Johnson and Xherdan Shaqiri are all thought to be nearing returns, though whether or not they are fit enough to start here remains to be seen. Mame Biram Diouf came off with an injury against Manchester City but does not seem to have suffered any lasting damage.
With Wilfried Bony out of favour, Diouf, Saido Berahino, Jonathan Walters and Peter Crouch are all in with a chance of starting up front.
Potential starting XI: Grant; Bardsley, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters; Whelan, Cameron; Arnautovic, Allen, Sobhi; Crouch.
|Defenders||Zouma, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Aina, Alonso, Luiz, Ake|
|Midfielders||Fabregas, Hazard, Matic, Willian, Loftus-Cheek, Moses, Kante, Chalobah, Kenedy|
|Forwards||Pedro, Costa, Batshuayi, Solanke|
Victor Moses is a major doubt for Chelsea after reportedly suffering a calf strain in the victory over Manchester United in the FA Cup.
There is no direct replacement for the right-wing-back but Pedro has filled in in a deeper position before and moving Cesar Azpilicueta wide, with Kurt Zouma coming in at centre-back, could also be an option.
Potential starting XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill; Pedro, Kante, Matic, Alonso; Willian, Costa, Hazard.
BETTING & GAME ODDS
Chelsea are clear favourites to pick up three points at 8/13, according to Oddschecker. The draw is priced at 3/1 and Stoke can be backed at 29/5.
As usual, Diego Costa is favoured to score first at 3/1, with Eden Hazard and Michy Batshuayi listed at 5/1. Saido Berahino is rated the most likely to break the deadlock for the hosts at 9/1.
It is a cliche repeated every year, but over and over again this season Chelsea have demonstrated the champions' quality of churning out points against unglamorous opposition.
The value of these wins and draws will be apparent in April, when the Blues face Manchester City, Manchester United and Everton in what looks like the final test of their championship credentials. As things stand, Antonio Conte's men could lose the lot and still come out at least a point ahead.
They will be keen to preserve their 10-point lead going into that first match against City on April 5 and if they can win against Stoke City they could even be further ahead of Pep Guardiola's side, who face Liverpool this weekend.
Without diminishing the remarkable job Conte has done at Stamford Bridge this season, he has undoubtedly benefited from the clean injury record that has allowed him to field the same XI on a consistent basis. The only real contest has been between Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas in central midfield.
The Italian may have a more difficult decision to make if Victor Moses is ruled out by a reported calf strain. There is no natural replacement for the Nigerian but then again, he was not a natural wing-back in the first place and the strength of the team structure will help a newcomer settle in.
Chelsea lost two in a row in September and won the next 13 straight. Then they lost to Tottenham and have gone seven unbeaten since, winning five. They have been a winning machine ever since Conte's switch to a 3-4-3 formation and it's hard to see who is going to stop them.