Stoke vs Chelsea: Preview, Injury News and Predicted Line-ups

By on April 1, 2011

When these two sides last met at Stamford Bridge back in August, Chelsea were coming to face Stoke City on the bank of two 6-0 wins, and also a 8-0 win over Wigan in the last day of last season, which saw Chelsea claim their fourth title. But things have changed and Chelsea slipped to a mid season slump and had even fears of loosing out on Champions League next season. But with new signings and two important victories over two Manchester clubs have revived their title bid once again, and Chelsea have moved to the third place in the Barclays English Premier League Table.

Last time at the Britannia Stadium, Chelsea won 2-1, thanks to an injury time winner by Florent Malouda. Stoke City’s Abdoulaye Faye fired his side into a 32nd minute lead, which was cancelled out by Didier Drogba’s 45th minute equaliser. But Florent Malouda stealed an injury time win for Chelsea.

Chelsea have the most fresh squad in England, by the time they will face Stoke. With no players sidelined as both long term absentees Alex and Yossi Benayoun are back, Chelsea have the whole squad to choose from for the first time this season. Bennayoun returned and was a part of both Israel matches in the International break. Though, he was an unused sub in the first match, he did came off the bench in the 2nd match in the final 20 minutes.

Alex, though returned, was not a part of the match day squad against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge. With Luiz’s scintallating form at Chelsea, many wont bet Alex to return to his starting place at the heart of defence alongside John Terry. And with a massive midweek Champions League tie coming this week against Manchester United, Alex will be prefered to rest by Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti. But if Benayoun comes off the bench, Chelsea fans can expect the 1st goal from Fernando Torres. Carlo Ancelotti should probably go for a changed formation. He can recall Ferreira, Zhirkov, Mikel and Drogba for his starting line up, as he wants to keep his squad fresh before the Champions League tie. Though Bosingwa can also be favoured in place of Ferreira.

Stoke City have some injury concerns though. They have players such as John Carew, Abdoulaye Faye and Mohammed Sidibe already sidelined. But still have a strong squad to choose from, and they are buoyed by the fact for reaching the Wembley for the FA Cup semi final clash against Bolton Wanderers. And Tony Pulis’ side will try to maintain their good momentum. So Stoke City is expected to keep their winning formula against Newcastle whom they thrashed 4-0 last match.

Probable Line Ups

Stoke City

(4-4-2)

Asmir Begovic, Robert Huth, Ryan Shawcross, Danny Higginbotham, Marc Wilson, Rory Delap, Glenn Whelan, Matthew Etherington, Jermaine Pennant, Kenwyne Jones, Jonathan Walters.

Chelsea

(4-1-3-2)

Petr Cech, Paulo Ferreira, David Luiz, John Terry, Ashley Cole, John Obi Mikel,  Ramires,  Frank Lampard,  Yuri Zhirkov, Salomon Kalou, Didier Drogba

Head-to-head

At Stoke City

Stoke City 1-2 Chelsea (Sep 12, 2009) FA Premier League
Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea (Sep 27, 2008) FA Premier League
Stoke City 0-2 Chelsea (Feb 16, 2003) FA Cup

At Chelsea

Chelsea 2-0 Stoke City (28 Aug 2010) FA Premier League
Chelsea 7-0 Stoke City (25 April 2010) FA Premier League
Chelsea 2-0 Stoke City ( 7 March 2010) FA Cup

Form Guide

Stoke City: WLDLL
Chelsea :    WWWDL

Submitted by Chelsea Fanatic

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