Competition: Premier League – Stoke City vs. Chelsea
Venue: Britannia Stadium – Saturday, November 7 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET)
Match Odds: Stoke 13/5 – Draw 12/5 – Chelsea 21/20
The Potters have endured an inconsistent opening 11 games, with just three wins so far and they have failed to score in their last two games, leaving them fourteenth in the table.
Their performance away at Newcastle in last weekend’s 0-0 draw certainly wasn’t glamorous, but it was a valuable point nonetheless, given the manner of the 2-0 home defeat to Watford the week before.Embed from Getty Images
Mark Hughes has his side playing a generally more entertaining brand of football than they did under Tony Pulis, but the fans will be hoping it doesn’t mean sacrificing results and Stoke need to find some consistency.
Stoke’s Premier League record: P11 – W3 – D4 – L4
It’s a desperate situation for visitors Chelsea, who arrive in Stoke following their worst ever start to a Premier League season, which has left them in the unfamiliar depths of fifteenth place.
And just when it seems like it can’t get any worse for manager Jose Mourinho, it somehow does. The 3-1 defeat at home to Liverpool last weekend was followed by the news that he has been given a one-match stadium ban for his behaviour in the loss to West Ham two weeks ago.Embed from Getty Images
Despite the doom and gloom surrounding Stamford Bridge, the Blues did secure a vital 2-1 win at home to Dynamo Kiev in their Champions League group stage on Wednesday thanks to a late goal from Willian.
Chelsea’s Premier League record: P11 – W3 – D2 – L6
The last Premier League meeting between these two sides was a 2-1 home win for Chelsea in April, while the last league meeting at Stoke was also a success for the Blues, winning 2-0 in December 2014.
However, Stoke will take confidence from their performance just under two weeks ago, as they knocked Chelsea out of the League Cup via a 5-4 penalty shootout win, after the game had finished 1-1.Embed from Getty Images
Stoke goalkeeper Shay Given (knee) and defender Marc Muniesa (hamstring) are out. Geoff Cameron will return to the squad following a thigh strain which ruled him out of the last two games. Phil Bardsley is also available again after serving a one-match ban. Midfielder Marco van Ginkel is on-loan from Chelsea and is ineligible to play against his parent club.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho will not be able to attend the game after he received a one-match stadium ban for his behaviour in the West Ham game. Thibaut Courtois remains a long-term absentee, while Radamel Falcao is out with a muscular problem. Defender Branislav Ivanovic returned to training this week after recovering from a hamstring injury.
Stoke’s last five in the Premier League: W/W/W/L/D
Chelsea’s last five in the Premier League: D/L/W/L/L
Key Stat: Stoke have only beaten Chelsea once in the Premier League (D3, L11) – a 3-2 success back in December 2013.
Key Player: Willian – The Brazilian has been one of Chelsea’s only consistent performers in this campaign. With five goals in all competitions, he’s the top scorer at the club this season and they’ll certainly need him to continue his fine form.Embed from Getty Images
Stoke City 1-1 Chelsea – This is bound to be a tight game with so much at for Mourinho and his Chelsea side. We could see a repeat result of the League Cup game 11 days ago.