Stoke City - Chelsea: Preview, Lineups and Score Prediction

Chelsea travel to the Britannia Stadium on Saturday evening to take on Stoke City for the second time in four games. Serving his one-m...

Chelsea travel to the Britannia Stadium on Saturday evening to take on Stoke City for the second time in four games.

Serving his one-match stadium ban, Jose Mourinho will be forced to watch from afar as the Blues seek to avenge their League Cup exit at the hands of tomorrow's hosts just under a fortnight ago.

The Portuguese has insisted the team is in safe hands with Rui Faria and Steve Holland taking charge on the touchline in his absence.

Stoke City Team News

Geoff Cameron (thigh) and Joselu (calf) are both in doubt for the visit of the Premier League champions, while Marc Muniesa (hamstring) and Shay Given (knee) are ruled out entirely.

Midfielder Marco van Ginkel is also ineligible to feature for the home side due to the terms of his loan deal.

Stoke City Starting XI Prediction

Butland | Pieters, Wollscheid, Shawcross, Johnson | Adam, Whelan, Arnautovic, Sharqiri | Krkic | Diouf

Previous Meeting

27 October 2015

Stoke City *1-1 Chelsea

Chelsea looked the far better side throughout a goalless first half before Stoke midfielder Jon Walters found the net soon after the break on 52 minutes. The Blues left it late to equalise through Loic Remy deep into injury time and force the tie into extra time and ultimately a penalty shootout. The home side was clinical from the spot, slotting home all five of their penalties before the usually reliable Eden Hazard stepped up and missed the all-important fifth kick for the Blues.

Last Five Meetings

Stoke City *1-1 Chelsea (League Cup, October 2015)
Chelsea 2-1 Stoke City (Premier League, April 2015)
Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea (Premier League, December 2014)
Chelsea 3-0 Stoke City (Premier League, April 2014)
Chelsea 1-0 Stoke City (FA Cup, January 2014)

Score Prediction

Although we needed yet another piece of individual brilliance from Willian to scrape a victory over Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League during midweek, there were other positive signs to take from performance apart the Brazilian's sublime free-kick.

We controlled the game for long periods and ended the game with a 54% share of the possession – something of a rarity this season given our lack of efficiency with the ball. Stoke will likely adopt a similar approach to that of Kiev on Wednesday evening, who deserve credit for keeping themselves well and truly in the game for much of the 90 minutes.

He was only afforded a 12-minute fling against the Ukrainians, but Eden Hazard looked somewhat sharp in the light of his drab campaign to date, which can only mean good things for our creativity in the final third. Let's hope he's full of energy and raring to reproduce some of the magic we saw so often last season.

I think this one will end 2-1. What are your score predictions?

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