|Chelsea vs Stoke: Preview|
Chelsea will go into this game as the only top 4 side playing on Saturday and will look to go four points clear of the top as the two Manchester clubs and Arsenal play on Sunday.
The last time these two sides met, Robbie Di Matteo recorded his first win as a Chelsea manager in the Premier League era with Didier Drogba also completing a milestone of 100 goals that day.
After a rather disappointing result in the previous 2 games against QPR and Juventus, Di Matteo will be hoping that his team can convert draws into wins and maintain the club’s unbeaten start to the Premier League campaign.
On the other hand Tony Pulis’s Stoke has made a decent start as well after being unbeaten in their first 4 games but winning none. The Potters will go into this game hoping they can over turn their history of not winning at Stamford Bridge in their last 4 games and managing to score only once. The Potters last recorded a win way back in 1974
Team News and expected lineup:
Chelsea should have midweek’s man of the match Oscar fit for the clash after he took a knock against Juventus. Daniel Sturridge is expected to miss out having not recovered from his hamstring injury so expect Fernando Torres to play the full 90mins. Torres had a bad outing against QPR last time around which saw him head straight to the locker room when replaced by Daniel Sturridge with 10 minutes remaining. Juan Mata is expected to feature again in the team but a place on the subs bench or the starting XI is still doubtful. Marko Marin is expected to be fully match fir for the clash and could make his Premier League debut this weekend. With the Capital One Cup fixture in the midweek, Di Matteo should feature his strongest lineup for this game.
Stoke City on the other hand go through a bad week after Andy Wilkinson was charged by the FA for violent conduct. He is expected to miss out. New signing Micheal Owen is expected to be on the bench for the second game running. New signings Charlie Adam and N’Zonzi should start for the Potters after their impressive starts. Stoke go into this game after a well earned draw against Champions Manchester City thanks to a controversial goal by Peter Crouch. Matthew Etherington returned from injury with a substitute appearance against City and he will be hoping to earn a start.
- Stoke have failed to score in each of their last four visits to Stamford Bridge in all competitions.
- Chelsea have won eight and lost none of the last 10 games against Stoke in all competitions.
- The Potters have only scored three goals in eight Premier League meetings with the Blues.
- Eden Hazard has provided more assists (six) than any other player in the division
Prediction: Chelsea should bounce back from a disappointing draw against QPR and Juventus and should beat this Stoke side comfortably. Chelsea 2-0 Stoke
Shikharr Chandra (@ShikharrC)