PREVIEW: CHELSEA VS STOKE

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Stoke City are Chelsea’s final opponents of 2017, which has been another great year for the football club.

Mark Hughes’ side has really struggled this season, which is unusual for a side that has constantly managed mid-table finishes since establishing themselves in the Premier League.

The Potters face even more woes this weekend, having to deal with injuries to captain Ryan Shawcross, Glen Johnson and Bruno Martins Indi. Chelsea’s on-loan defender Kurt Zouma is also not eligible to play against his parent club.

That should encourage Chelsea, who have won 14 of 19 Premier League games against Stoke and are now breathing down Manchester United’s neck in second place.

Andreas Christensen should be back after missing the Brighton game through illness, meaning Antonio Conte will have a full squad to pick from, except for David Luiz, who is still recovering from a knee injury.

An incredible year, which saw Chelsea winning another Premier League title and competing in an FA Cup final, is coming to an end, with fans, players and manager expecting three points to end the year on a high note.

 

Key Stats

  • Chelsea have scored a league-high 12 headed goals in the Premier League this campaign.
  • Chelsea haven’t lost their final Premier League game in a calendar year since 2011, which ended with a 3-1 home defeat to Aston Villa.
  • 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), their worst record against any opponent in the competition.
  • Chelsea have conceded just four goals in their last 11 Premier League games, keeping seven clean sheets on the way.
  • No team in Europe’s top five leagues has scored more league goals via Spanish players this season than Chelsea (20, level with Real Sociedad).

(via BBC Sport)

 

Predicted Line-up (3-4-3)

Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Moses, Bakayoko, Kante, Alonso; Willian, Morata, Hazard

 

Prediction

Stoke will continue to struggle at Stamford Bridge, especially without some of the players they’re missing through injury. Chelsea should cruise to a comfortable victory. 3-0

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