Premier League Predictions: Mourinho looking for Chelsea revenge, Arsenal looking to bounce back at Boro

The Premier League season is heading towards it’s finale but there is still plenty to play for. Manchester United welcome league leaders Chelsea to Old Trafford in the standout fixture of the weekend on Sunday, while the battle to avoid relegation intensifies.

Tottenham kick things off on Saturday lunchtime with the visit of Bournemouth, while Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal all have tricky away trips to Southampton, West Brom and Middlesbrough respectively. Read on to find out all of our Gameweek 32 predictions…

Tottenham 3-0 Bournemouth

Spurs are still chasing Chelsea at the top of the league. Their 4-0 win over Watford last weekend furtherdemonstrated their intensity and classy finishing. Bournemouth cannot afford to let Tottenham in early otherwise they could be on the receiving end of another rout. The Cherries look like they’ll be safe from relegation this season, they’re seven points above the drop zone but know they’re in for a tricky afternoon here.

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Sunderland 0-1 West Ham

Sunderland really are in the last-chance saloon. They are in huge trouble at the bottom of the Premier League table and haven’t scored a goal in over two months. West Ham’s season has been inconsistent throughout but they got a much-needed win against Swansea last weekend and should be able to follow that up with another narrow win against a team that looks destined for the drop.

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Stoke City 2-2 Hull City

Stoke’s season has become a little stale. They face relegation threatened Hull this weekend who have hit some form as they continue their fight against the drop. Mark Hughes will be expecting his side to win here and edge closer to that 40-point mark. Hull will be hoping results go their way to ensure they don’t drop back into the bottom three.

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Crystal Palace 2-1 Leicester City

Crystal Palace have turned their season on its head in recent weeks as Sam Allardyce has worked his magic once again. They have won five of their last six and could overtake Leicester with a win on Saturday. The Foxes have also turned their season around since a managerial change but they have a Champions League quarter-final to focus on and that distraction could see Palace take full advantage in this one.

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Everton 2-1 Burnley

Everton stunned Leicester with an impressive attacking display last weekend but still showed their defensive issues. Romelu Lukaku is the Premier League’s top scorer and he will be looking forward to causing the Burnley defence problems here. Sean Dyche’s side have conceded 44 goals this season but look comfortable in mid-table.

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Watford 1-2 Swansea City

If Swansea stand any chance of staying in the Premier League they need to win games like this. A loss at Watford on Saturday would leave them in huge trouble, but Paul Clement has a team good enough to get the job done. Watford got battered at Spurs last week and look like a side that’s season is already over. They’re effectively safe from relegation and don’t need this as much as Swansea.

Southampton 1-3 Manchester City

Pep Guardiola’s side face a tricky away trip to Southampton on Saturday evening. The Saints will be looking to take a positive result here as they continue to apply pressure to West Brom above them in 8th. Manchester City cannot afford to drop points, they will potentially let Arsenal and Manchester United back into the race for the top four and miss the chance to go ahead of Liverpool by winning their game in hand.

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West Brom 1-1 Liverpool 

These are the sort of games Liverpool have struggled to win this season and they can expect another tricky test at the Hawthorns. They might have produced a comeback at Stoke last week but the Baggies are a tougher unit to break down and proved their threat with that 3-1 win over Arsenal a few weeks ago. Liverpool can’t really afford to drop any more points if they are to secure a top four spot, but they might have to settle for one point on Sunday.

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Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea

Jose Mourinho welcomes league leading Chelsea to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. He has faced his former employers twice already this season, losing both games. Antonio Conte’s side cannot afford to get complacent at this stage of the season as they are pushing for the title. United are on a 21-game unbeaten run and a draw looks a likely result this weekend.

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Middlesbrough 0-1 Arsenal

To call this the biggest game of Arsenal’s season might seem a bit farfetched, but a defeat at Middlesbrough could see their top four hopes all but ended, depending on results over the weekend. Boro are in trouble themselves and look set for relegation. They have struggled to find goals all season but will be giving it their all against the Gunners on Monday night. Arsenal have the quality to stroll past Middlesbrough but it depends which side shows up. If it’s the one that lost 3-0 at Palace last week, then they’ll be in big trouble.

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Three reasons Man Utd suffered most in the PL this weekend

Saturday saw Manchester United held to their third 0-0 draw at home in the Premier League this season, as West Brom became the eighth team to leave Old Trafford with a point to further damage the Red Devils’ top four hopes.

Jose Mourinho’s side have only managed to win 40% of their home games in the top flight this season and wins for Spurs and Liverpool on Saturday mean that the challenge of securing a top four spot just got a whole lot tougher.

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Yes, Chelsea lost at home to Crystal Palace. That was a shock result and one that many will say was worse – on paper at least – than United’s home draw with the Baggies. But the difference is that the Blues had a 10-point cushion at the top of the table. They can afford to drop a few points and still lift the title. United can’t if they want to beat rivals to a Champions League spot.

Here are three reasons Manchester United were this weekend’s biggest losers:

1. Widening gap to top four

The biggest problem for United this weekend is that the gap to the top four widened by a point, following Liverpool’s Merseyside Derby win over Everton earlier in the day. Mourinho’s side were four points off Liverpool with two games in hand heading into the weekend, but not sit 5 points off Manchester City in 4th, who have only played one game more than United.

2. Easiest fixture of the month?

Man Utd will have played a staggering nine times before the end of April, with an average of a game every three days in the Premier League and Europa League leaving Mourinho with the most frantic period of his season. He will have to rotate his squad more than ever over the next four weeks but he’d had the entire international break to plan a victory over West Brom. He couldn’t do that and will now only have a couple of days to spend on preparations for each upcoming game in April.

3. Short rest time

As mentioned above, United’s hectic schedule means Mourinho will need to manage his players extremely well if they’re to emerge out of this month in good shape. Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be available again for Tuesday’s home clash with Everton after serving his suspension but the 0-0 draw to the Baggies on Saturday meant the United boss had to leave his best players on the pitch for 90 minutes. Henrikh Mkhitaryan was the only played substituted but still had to get through 75 minutes first. The fact that Mourinho was unable to bring players off to save them for Tuesday might cost them when Everton come to town tomorrow evening.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester United vs Arsenal

Competition: Premier League – Manchester United vs. Arsenal

Venue: Old Trafford – Saturday, November 19 – 12:30 GMT (07:30 ET)

Match Odds: Man United 6/4 – Draw 23/10 – Arsenal 9/5

Match Preview

Manchester United host Arsenal as the Premier League springs back into life in emphatic style following the latest international break.

Both sides will be looking to climb the table when they meet on Saturday, with Arsenal two points off the top in fourth and United six points further back in sixth place.

It’s a huge game on the pitch, but the battle in the dugout between Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger will be sure to draw attention throughout. The long-time enemies will face off in this fixture for the first time since Mourinho moved to Manchester here and it’s expected to be as tense as ever.

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Wenger has still never beaten Mourinho in a Premier League game, but the visitors will be confident given United’s stuttering form so far this season.

The Red Devils won 3-1 at Swansea two weeks ago, ending a four-game winless run in the Premier League, but they still have a lot to work on if they are to finish the season in the top four, let alone challenge for the title.

Injuries and suspensions have left Mourinho short of options ahead of such a crucial game but he will have to trust some of his fringe players to step up and deliver, as they did in Swansea before the international break.

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For Arsenal, this is a huge game. They haven’t won a league game at Old Trafford in ten seasons but come into Saturday’s game with a very strong chance of getting three all three points.

Wenger has some injuries of his own to worry about but they are unbeaten since the opening day and have won each of their last four away games in the top flight.

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Their 1-1 draw against North London rivals Tottenham two weeks ago raised some concerns but they know they have the quality to beat anyone on their day, and this should be a thrilling clash as a result.

United beat Arsenal 3-2 back in February in the most recent meeting between the two. A lot has changed since though, most notably in the dugout, and so this is sure to be a fascinating contest.

Team News

Manchester United will be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who misses out through suspension. Wayne Rooney is unlikely to deputise after off-field controversies have surrounded him this week, so Marcus Rashford is set to start up top. Eric Bailly, Antonio Valencia and Chris Smalling are all sidelined through injury, while Luke Shaw and Marouane Fellaini are doubts.

Arsenal have been dealt a blow as Hector Bellerin will be out for the next four weeks, while fellow defender Per Mertesacker remains out. Danny Welbeck, Santi Cazorla, Lucas Perez and Chuba Akpom are also out, while Alexis Sanchez is a doubt after picking up a knock on international duty. Mesut Ozil will be fresh after being given two weeks off to rest by German head coach Joachim Low.

Key Points

Man United’s last five: D/D/L/D/W

Arsenal’s last five: W/W/D/W/D

Key Stat: Jose Mourinho has never lost a Premier League game against Arsenal in 11 previous contests, winning five and drawing six of those.

Key Player: Mesut Ozil – The German playmaker will be one of the freshest on the field after being given time to rest during the international break. Regardless of that, he is one of the league’s most talented players and will look to break down a weakened Arsenal backline here. He scored at Old Trafford in February and will be hoping to put in a commanding performance on Saturday.

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Score Prediction

Manchester United 1-1 Arsenal – There is very little to separate these two sides ahead of such a big game. Mourinho has the edge over Wenger but there isn’t much to split the two teams on the field, with injuries likely to affect both as equally as the other. An excellent game is expected but ultimately, this one looks likely to end in a draw, which won’t do either side too many favours.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Hull City vs Manchester United

Competition: Premier League – Hull City vs. Manchester United

Venue: KCOM Stadium – Saturday, August 27 – 17:30 BST (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Hull 7/1 – Draw 16/5 – Manchester United 4/9

Match Preview

Surprise early season high-flying Hull City welcome Manchester United to KCOM Stadium as one of these sides will lose their 100% record this weekend.

Hull have defied the odds in their opening two games, winning both, and are one of only four teams to have picked up six points.

Their last Premier League outing was against Swansea, where some ruthless finishing in the last quarter of an hour saw them come away 2-0 winners.

At some point Hull’s squad will begin to feel the pressure due to a lack of depth and injuries, but for the moment they can enjoy each game and they’ll be full confidence. A strong start to the season is all Mike Phelan would have hoped for and he has got exactly that.

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Manchester United have looked very comfortable in their opening two games. They are giving off the real impression of a typical Jose Mourinho side and although they will be expecting a tough tie, they’ll feel anything less than three points this time out is not good enough.

United will be keen to push their way to the top of the table as early on as possible this season, they trail City on goals scored but have the same goal difference as their neighbours. Mourinho loves his side to be pace setters rather than chasers.

Mourinho’s new signings have dovetailed nicely with the rest of the squad so far and their direct approaching is working well.

United have scored at least two goals in their last four Premier League outings and you wouldn’t bet against them repeating that this weekend. They have a strong bench to change things up if they aren’t getting any joy in this tie.

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Team News

Hull City are still light on the ground. Centre back partners Alex Bruce and Michael Dawson remain injured, while Moses Odubajo and Allan McGregor are also both still out. Josh Tymon, Harry Maguire and Greg Luer are all doubts.

Manchester United have no injury concerns so we can expect a very similar lineup from Mourinho in this tie.

Key Points

Hull City’s last five: W/W

Manchester United’s last five: W/W

Key Stat: Manchester United have never lost to Hull City in the Premier League, winning eight and drawing the other.

Key Player: Zlatan Ibrahimovic – The big Swede has been exactly what United needed in his opening two league games, he’ll be itching to keep his scoring run going and prove to any doubters why they are wrong.

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Score Prediction

Hull City 1-3 Manchester United – Hull deserve a lot of credit for their performances so far this season and they’ve been good value in front of goal but they’ll be able to do little to stop the power of United here. An entertaining one with a result many would predict.

Weekend recap: United impress, what do Arsenal and Liverpool lack?

The second Premier League weekend of the season has passed with some surprising results. So here are our top three picks. 

Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United impress:

Manchester United played out the first Friday night football of the season at home to Southampton. Although possession favoured the visitors early on, United dominated on the most part. They barely got out of second gear and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s two goals showed exactly why he was signed. Paul Pogba looked comfortable on his second debut.

But for some hesitation in decision making in the final third, United could have easily scored two or three more. Southampton had a couple of decent half chances as they broke through United’s defence, something Mourinho will be looking to iron out in training this week.

A relatively easy win with United looking the part.

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More calls for Arsene to spend as Arsenal held:

An all too familiar story for Arsenal fans in this one. They struggled throughout to break down a resilient Leicester and any chances that presented themselves were not taken. Leicester felt they should have had a penalty late on and they had a case.

The return of Laurent Koscielny was welcomed by the Gunners and Petr Cech showed his class once again, but Arsenal are already five points behind the Premier League leaders.

Wenger still needs a centre back and centre forward.

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Klopp’s Liverpool stunned by Burnley:

The shock result of the weekend was undoubtedly Liverpool‘s 2-0 away defeat to newly promoted Burnley. Jurgen Klopp’s side had 26 shots but failed to breach the Burnley backline.

This could well be a one off for Liverpool, they had plenty of chances and 81% possession but it was just ‘one of those games’ – they impressed offensively in their opener but have already shipped in five goals.

Liverpool need to tighten up at the back and take their chances but it is not the time to panic.

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Who impressed you the most this weekend? Should Arsenal and Liverpool be looking to make signings?

The Dugout: Why Mourinho will bring instant success to Manchester United

The 2016/17 Premier League season is fast approaching and a number of clubs will start the campaign with new managers. Fans will be expecting more from their team and this time around, ‘The Dugout‘ will assess why Jose Mourinho will bring instant success to Manchester United…

The appointment of Jose Mourinho has excited Manchester United fans on the whole and he has already started his usual antics with the press. The new United manager means business, he has signed some world class players already and more are being linked to the club on a daily basis.

It has always seemed a matter of when rather than if, in terms of Mourinho managing Manchester United, and it looks to have come at the perfect time for the club and the man himself.

In Mourinho’s unveiling as United boss he made a number of bold statements and signalled his intent, saying all the things the fans wanted to hear: “I want everything. I want to win matches, I want to play well, I want to play young players. I want our fans to cheer us defending a lead rather than chasing a lead.”

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So let’s have a look at why United fans can expect instant success with Mourinho

First season silverware…

Mourinho has a brilliant track record of bringing silverware in his first season at clubs.

Porto 2002/03: Primera Liga, UEFA Cup, Taça de Portugal
Chelsea 2004/05: Premier League, League Cup
Inter Milan 2008/09: Serie A, Supercoppa Italianna
Real Madrid 2010/11: Copa del Ray 

Squad revamp… 

Manchester United fans don’t need telling that new signings are a feature of Mourinho’s first season as they have already signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly. Negotiations are also underway for a reported world-record £100 million fee for Paul Pogba.

Porto 2002/03: £6.8m – 15 players signed
Chelsea 2004/05: £99.3m – ten players signed 

Inter Milan 2008/09: £43.6m – seven players signed
Real Madrid 2010/11: £62.25m – six players signed

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Consistency…

Mourinho’s consistent ability to win trophies has seen him win at least one trophy each calendar year from 2003-2012. He also retained league titles at Porto (02/03 & 03/04), Chelsea (04/05 & 05/06) and Inter (08/09 & 09/10), while dethroning what has been labelled as one of the best FC Barcelona sides in history with Real Madrid in 2011/12.

The Treble…

Manchester United fans will dream of winning the treble once again and Mourinho has a proven track record of bringing three trophies in a single season. At Porto in the 2002/03 as mentioned above, he won three trophies and in his second season as Inter boss, the historic treble of Serie A, UEFA Champions League and Coppa Italia saw him sign off in style.

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Premier League experience…

Not that United fans will need reminding – Mourinho has won the Premier League three times. He holds the record for the fewest matches taken to rack up 400 points – just 174 games – bettering Sir Alex Ferguson’s 191 and Arsene Wengers 208 games, respectively.

Manchester United fans will be eager for Mourinho to beat the Premier League highest points tally of 95 – a record he achieved in the 04/05 season with Chelsea as he won the league losing just once.

Despite Mourinho’s sour half season with Chelsea in 2015/16, he still boasts the best Premier League win rate of 66% (win rate stats count after 20 or more league games managed).

His current Premier League record stands at 212 games, 140 wins, 44 draws and 28 losses and his overall experience has seen him rack up 513 league games managed with six clubs.

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While there is a huge amount of work for Mourinho to do to bring instant success to United, it is clear enough that he has the ability to return the club to the highest level in his first season. He will be eager to lift his fourth Premier League trophy and bring the Premier League trophy back to Old Trafford for the first time since the 2012/13 season.

Will Mourinho be an instant success at United? Can he win the Premier League?

Is this the biggest hint yet that Mourinho will be the next United manager?

It’s no shock to hear any developments that Jose Mourinho is nearing a return to management and the former Chelsea boss is the front-runner for the Manchester United job.

Portuguese media outlet Correio da Manhã report Mourinho is finalising details of his chosen new home in Manchester. 

Louis Van Gaal is expected to be ousted from the club at the end of the season after spending huge sums on a number of players who have failed to make much of an impact for the Red Devils.

No move is expected to happen before the end of the season but there will be added pressure for Van Gaal to make the top four to ensure Mourinho can attract the players he will want if he succeeds the Dutchman.

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Mourinho has openly stated he is waiting for the ‘right move’ ahead of his potential next job, reported by Sky Sports News.

“I always feel that it’s better to wait, not to rush, better to be calm, to wait for the right moment, the right move,” the three-time Premier League winner said.

“I feel that starting the next season with a new club and project is probably the best thing for me.”

Mourinho has played down the situation and has taken a light-hearted approach to reports linking him with managerial roles across the globe and his current management status.

“I read so many different things. One day it says I go to China, another day it says I go to Italy, and people say I’m back to Inter Milan. I’m here – probably, you are saying I will go to the Singapore national team.

“It’s quite a funny career. I am the English champion, and I still have no job.”

Will Mourinho be the next United manager? Will his managerial qualities shine through once again in his next role?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Sunderland

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea vs. Sunderland

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Saturday, December 19 – 15:00 GMT (10:00 ET)

Match Odds: Chelsea 30/100 – Draw 4/1 – Sunderland 10/1

Match Preview

Chelsea welcome Sunderland to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon, just two days after manager Jose Mourinho was sacked following the Blues’ worst start to a season since 1978.

Speculation over how much longer Mourinho would retain his job was rapidly escalating after the 2-1 defeat away at Leicester on Monday night, and Roman Abramovich obviously believes something needed to change.

While Mourinho’s sacking will undoubtedly be the centre of attention on Saturday afternoon, it’s vital that Chelsea’s players remind themselves of just how important this game is.

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No one could’ve predicted that the Blues would be 16th, almost halfway through the season, nor would anyone expect they’d be coming into a fixture they must win in order to quickly abolish the almost unthinkable question marks over the possibility of relegation.

A tenth league defeat for the reigning champions could see them slip into the drop zone by the end of the weekend, depending on Norwich and Swansea’s results.

Sunderland are in their own scrap for survival and every point for them will be crucial – they’ll be hoping Chelsea are a wounded animal right now – although it’s tough to know whether this is the best or worst time to be visiting Stamford Bridge.

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A couple of wins at the end of November looked to have kick-started the Black Cats’ season, but that progress was halted by defeat to Arsenal, followed by a disappointing 1-0 loss at home to Watford last time out.

Sam Allardyce is the master of dealing with situations such as the one Sunderland find themselves in right now, but he will know their record of three wins from 16 games so far needs to improve immediately.

The last meeting between these two sides saw Chelsea come out on top in a 3-1 win on the final day of last season – a game that seems like a very distant memory now.

Team News

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard (hip) and Radamel Falcao (muscular) are both looking to recover from injuries in the hope of being fit to play.

Sunderland will be without Sebastian Larsson (knee), Lee Cattermole (back) and Sebastian Coates (illness).

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Key Points

Chelsea’s last five: L/W/D/L/L

Sunderland’s last five: L/W/W/L/L

Key Stat: Chelsea have only lost to Sunderland twice in the past 22 meetings between the sides in the Premier League (W18, D2), although both those defeats came at Stamford Bridge.

Key Player: Willian – The Brazilian has been one of the few highlights for Chelsea this season. He’s their top goalscorer with seven in all competitions and they’ll be hoping his form continues despite the upheaval.

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Score Prediction

Chelsea 1-1 Sunderland – This is so tough to call given the current events off the pitch at Chelsea. It’s impossible for it to not be playing on the minds of the players, whether they’re happy to see the back of Mourinho or not. Either way, it will have an influence, and with just one win in seven for the hosts, a tight draw could be on the cards.

STATS: Was Jose Mourinho wrong to let these seven players leave Chelsea?

Chelsea‘s form has been a huge topic of conversation after each game so far this season for one reason or another, mostly down to below-par performances.

Key players are failing to provide quality in the same way they did last season, with the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa the subjects of heavy criticism.

Jose Mourinho has let some big names leave the club since his return in 2013, some of whom are enjoying great form in their domestic seasons with other clubs.

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With Chelsea under such pressure at current, it’s difficult not to ask whether some of those names should have been let go, so we took a look at some of those players’ statistics this season.

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 Former Chelsea players’ domestic league stats for the 2015/16 season (via Squawka)

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Petr Cech’s domestic league stats for 2015/16 as a goalkeeper (via Squawka)

Petr Cech comes out on top in terms of win percentage with an impressive 66.6% in the Premier League with Arsenal, which is 41.6% better than Chelsea’s overall win percentage of 25% in the top flight.

Romelu Lukaku, now at Everton, has bagged seven league goals so far this season. Chelsea’s highest individual goalscorer only has two (Diego Costa, Ramires and Willian).

The highest number of assists from those who have departed have come from Lukaku and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne on four. Cesc Fabregas, arguably Chelsea’s most creative player, has just one league assist after 12 games.

And perhaps most staggering is the fact that the highest number of losses suffered domestically out of the seven players is only three, four less than Chelsea’s worrying total of seven so far.

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While we are not suggesting Mourinho’s transfer policy is wrong, it is clear that his squad is lacking in creativity and goals this season. What we must not forget is that out of these seven players only Petr Cech and Andre Schurrle (departed January 2015) were in the Chelsea squad who won the Premier League last season.

But Chelsea fans would be forgiven for looking at the names in the table above and wishing they could bring them back to Stamford Bridge to try and turn the Blues’ campaign around.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Stoke City vs Chelsea

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

Match Preview

Stoke City host Chelsea at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday evening for a crucial Premier League clash, with the visitors desperately hoping to recover from a poor start to the season.

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.

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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.

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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.

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Team News

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.

Key Points

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.

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Score Prediction

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.