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Match Preview: Stoke City FC vs Chelsea FC

rsz_pChelsea will face Stoke City away this weekend. With Arsenal facing Everton & Manchester City in the upcoming couple of weeks before the hugely anticipated London derby, this fixture might play a crucial role in the title race. Lets take a look at all the information we need beforehand.

DATE & TIME: December 7, 2013 at 10:00 EST; December 7, 2013 at 15:00 GMT; December 7, 2013 at 16:00 WAT; December 7, 2013 at 17:00 CAT; December 7, 2013 at 18:00 EAT; December 7, 2013 at 20:30 IST.

VENUE: Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom.

TV/STREAMING NEWS: The match will be telecast live on Sportsnet World in Canada, Canal+ Sport in France, Star Sports HD1 in India, Canal+ Yomvi & Gol Stadium in Spain, BBC One in United Kingdom and Premier League Extra Time & DirecTV in USA. There is no telecast in the African sub-continent.
The match is available online on NBC Sports Live Extra in USA.
Chelsea TV will have live audio of the game. You can also catch the game on TalkSport Radio if you’re in Canada or US.

STOKE CITY FC SQUAD NEWS: Stoke will miss Robert Huth & Mathew Etherington due to injuries. Erik Pieters is doubtful as well.
Predicted Starting XI: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Muniesa, Nzozi, Whelan, Adam, Arnautovic, Assaidi, Crouch.

CHELSEA FC SQUAD NEWS: Jose Mourinho has confirmed Oscar is back in training, but not a surety for the game. David Luiz, however, is still out with his knee injury. Marco van Ginkel is the other absentee. Samuel Eto’o is fit however.
Predicted Starting XI: Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Willian, Mata, Hazard, Torres.

REFEREE: Jonathan Moss.

FORM INDEX: Stoke – LDDWLD l Chelsea – WLDWWW.

THOUGHTS FROM THE ENEMY: Mark Hughes, the Stoke City manager is not much concerned with the Potters’ current form and will look forward to make life difficult for the Blues at the Britannia Stadium.

“The one thing we’ve got going for us is our record at the Britannia. To be able to get the crowd with us we have to give them something to cheer and we’ve got to get momentum in our play and have sustained pressure. If we can do that then Chelsea know it will be difficult for them. It’s a big test, obviously.

At the moment they seem to be scoring lots of goals and have lots of options in terms of personnel. It’s very difficult to second guess which way they’ll go because they have any number of combinations of players that will cause you a problem. But the easy part is knowing that you’re going to be up against quality players that will test you.”

FUN TRIVIA:

  • Petr Cech’s next clean sheet will be his 150th in the Premier League.
  • Eden Hazard has the most no. of Premier League goals for Chelsea.
  • Chelsea have gained 11 points from losing positions this season, the best record in the Barclays Premier League.
  • Stoke have failed to win 10 of their last 11 matches in the Premier League.

IN A NUTSHELL: Chelsea will look to take all three points off Stoke in order to stay in touch with the league leaders Arsenal. A performance similar to the one Hazard produced against Sunderland is all we need.

Stoke’s league record against the Blues is poor; they have never beaten them in the Premier League, in 10 attempts, and were last successful against the Londoners back in April 1975.

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