CHELSEA v Stoke: Preview

Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Saturday, 5th March 2016
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT

After making hard work of the win against Norwich midweek, today’s game sees us up against Stoke City who haven’t had a win at Stamford Bridge in 32 years.
Any other season we might go into this game expecting that statistic to continue but this isn’t any other season, with Stoke in 7th place and above us in the table. Like us, they come into today’s game on a 3 game winning streak and will be looking for a double, having beaten us 1-0 in the reverse fixture this season.

MANAGER’S VIEWS
Going into today’s game, Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink says, “The players responded well when I came in. I said to everyone, ‘what was your contribution in the year of the championship and the last half year? Don’t give me an answer by word but in training and in upcoming games’. I think they responded. I will be now and then at Stamford Bridge and at Cobham as a tourist [after this season]. I am here for a short period. I think the club has to go into a new era of Chelsea which is not just about short spells.”
Stoke manager Mark Hughes meanwhile, says “I think everybody was scratching their heads as to why Chelsea couldn’t win games. It’s only in recent weeks that they’ve been able to get in the top 10 for the first time. No-one could have anticipated that at the start of the season. They’ve got themselves into a position where they can have a strong finish and may well get into the European places. They may need others to slip up… but they have the potential to go on a run which can take them a long way.”

SQUAD NEWS
For Chelsea, Falcao and John Terry are still out, joined now by Pedro. Kenedy will need a late assessment after a groin strain.
For Stoke, Ryan Shawcross, Charlie Adam, Shay Given, Glen Johnson, Marc Wilson and Phil Bardsley are all out, with Geoff Cameron also doubtful.

TEAMS
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Baba Rahman, Loftus-Cheek, Fabregas, Traore, Willian, Hazard, Costa.
STOKE (Possible line-up): Butland, Wilson, Muniesa, Wollschied, Pieters, Whelan, Imbula, Shaqiri, Afellay, Arnautovic, Walters.

LAST SEASON
Chelsea 2-1 Stoke (4th April 2015)

CURRENT FORM
CHELSEA: WDDWWW
STOKE: LLLWWW

OTHER STUFF
~ Stoke have not won at Stamford Bridge in the league since 1974
~ Chelsea have won three successive Premier League games for the first time this season
~ Chelsea have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last seven home league games.
~ Chelsea have taken 19 points in 2016 (the joint-highest total in the PL with Spurs)
~ Stoke have won their last three Premier League games, having lost the previous three.
~ A win would give Stoke four successive league wins for the first time since 2011
~ Stoke have won just one of their last 14 Premier League games in London

PREDICTION
If we’re going to see Guus Hiddink extend his 12-game unbeaten run today, we’re probably going to have to settle for a draw.

One Response to “CHELSEA v Stoke: Preview”

  1. A win in favour of Chelsea 4 – 1 Stoke city