CHELSEA v Stoke: Preview

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date: Saturday 30th December 2017

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Kick-off: 15:00 GMT

 

Today’s game has a touch of déjà vu about it because its almost a year to the day we last played Stoke at home in the league. This year though, we’re not riding quite as high because we go into this one below both Manchester clubs. And whilst we might be just a point off United after their slip against Burnley, their neighbours are streets ahead of the rest of us.

We do go into this game with six home league wins in a row and 23 points from the last 30 available, but its debatable how motivated players can be without a prize in sight. The Potters meanwhile, come into the game knowing they’ve only managed one point from nine Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge but have taken four points from their Christmas games so far and will likely kick lumps out of us looking for more.

This fixture last year was the usual hard-fought battle but finished 4-2, so I’m hoping for Groundhog Day.

 

 

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into today’s game, Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says “All the players are available. The same players from the last game are available. Tomorrow we have a game which is very difficult against Stoke City. Last season, at the same time of year, we suffered a lot to beat them at home. I remember the game very well and we must pay great attention. We must go game by game and it’s normal when you play every few days to make rotation and give some rest to those who have been playing every game. At the same time, all my players deserve credit, I trust in all of my players and it doesn’t matter if there are changes to the starting 11.

In this league to finish in the top four is always a success. There are only four places for the Champions League and two for the Europa League, so you have to fight. When your competitor is doing so well, like Man City, it’s difficult to fight for the title until the end, but we must give everything, try to get three points in every game and improve our work.”

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes meanwhile, says “We are obviously desperate to get a number of key players who are missing through injury back to full fitness. Once we do that then I am confident of enjoying a really productive second half of the season. Obviously, Chelsea will be difficult, but Newcastle straight after, we have to make sure we are ready for that and really kick on in the new year.”

 

SQUAD NEWS

For Chelsea, Luiz and Musonda remain out but there are no new injury concerns. Andreas Christensen missed the win over Brighton through illness and may be rested with Arsenal coming up Wednesday.

For Stoke, Ryan Shawcross, Bruno Martins Indi and Glen Johnson are all injured. Kurt Zouma is ineligible against us but Erik Pieters may play after missing two games.

 

 

TEAMS

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Pedro, Hazard; Morata

STOKE (Possible line-up): Butland, Edwards, Wimmer, Cameron, Pieters, Fletcher, Allen, Shaqiri, Diouf, Choupo Moting, Crouch


LAST SEASON

Chelsea 4-2 Stoke (31 December 2016)

 

 

CURRENT FORM

CHELSEA: WLWWDW

STOKE: WLLLWD

 

 

OTHER STUFF

~ Chelsea have won 25 points from a possible 27 in their nine Premier League home games against Stoke (W8, D1).

~ Stoke have lost 14 of 19 Premier League games against Chelsea (W2, D3)

~ Chelsea have conceded just four goals in their last 11 Premier League games, keeping seven clean sheets on the way.

~ Chelsea have lost just once in 15 games in all competitions, winning 11 matches and drawing three.

~ Chelsea haven’t lost their final Premier League game in a calendar year since 2011

~ Stoke have conceded 41 goals this season – the most in the Premier League.

~ Stoke have gone 10 games without a Premier League clean sheet

~ Stoke haven’t won any of their last 16 Premier League games in London (D6, L10),


PREDICTIONS

BBC Sport: Chelsea 3-0 Stoke

Sky Sports: Chelsea 3-0 Stoke

Footyroom: Chelsea 3-0 Stoke

 


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