Chelsea v Stoke City: Preview

Stoke travel to London for the Saturday teatime kick-off with nearly a fully fit squad.

Long-term absentees Bojan and Peter Odemwingie are the only players out with injury and Victor Moses is ineligible to face his parent club.

Philipp Wollscheid, Marc Muniesa and Stephen Ireland have all fully recovered from their injuries and are likely to feature in Mark Hughes’ 18-man squad for the clash at Stamford Bridge.

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Mark Hughes told his press conference: “All of the lads are looking OK, which is pleasing. Jon Walters had a little knock today but we envisage him being OK in time for the game.

“We also have the likes of Marc Muniesa, Philipp Wollscheid, Erik Pieters and Stephen Ireland all back up to speed, which will help us.”

Last Friday Mark Hughes signed a new contract keeping him at the Britannia Stadium until 2019. Hughes said: “I am really pleased. We are excited about the future here. We want to keep on improving.

“We have had a decent season this year, but we still feel we can build upon what was a magnificent last season. It is a good message for the players and it is a good message for the supporters I feel.”

The omens don’t look too good for the Potters as Chelsea have kept five clean sheets in a row against Stoke at Stamford Bridge and overall they have kept nine shut outs in 13 Premier League meetings.

Chelsea could be without striker Diego Costa, who missed Spain’s internationals, because of a hamstring injury but Jose Mourinho will make a late decision on whether to play him.

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John Obi Mikel has overcome his knee injury but will not be considered for selection.

Jon Moss will be in charge at Stamford Bridge. This season he has refereed four Stoke matches, all away, three defeats (Arsenal, Manchester United and Southampton) and a 1-1 draw at Hull where he sent-off James Chester in the first half.

He has officiated in three Premier League matches for Chelsea. He took charge of their 6-3 win away to Everton while he also was in charge of the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge as well as their 5-0 win away to Swansea.

In the Premier League Moss has shown 89 yellow cards and seven red cards in 24 matches.

He will be assisted by Darren England and Edward Smart.


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