Stoke City vs Chelsea
Venue –Brittania stadium
Date – 23rd December 2014
Time – 1:30 AM IST
In what is already being tipped to be a physical battle, Mark Hughes welcomes his former club Chelsea to Stoke City’s fortress, otherwise known as the Brittania stadium.
It looks like the side that is eventually going to lift the championship this year. But a few hassles on the way through has left second placed Manchester city gain ground as the lead is now cut down to a slender 3 points.
Chelsea will feel that this is a ‘must win’ game for them as City have a relatively easier fixture hosting lowly side Crystal Palace at home. But the positives for them will be the attacking line up of Costa and a plethora of midfielders who will be more than a handful for the Stoke defenders to handle.
Brittania stadium has never been a happy hunting ground for Chelsea and Mark Hughes will be aware of this. The same corresponding fixture last year was won by Stoke, which will give them the confidence going into the match up.
Besides this, they snapped a three game losing streak by picking up 4 points in their last two games including an all important 3-2 win over former champions Arsenal.
So, they will be high on confidence ahead of the Chelsea game and it will left to be seen if the attacking force of Diouf, Walters and Bojan deliver like they have done in the past for the potters.
Chelsea – WDWLW
Stoke City- LLLWD
Key factors in the match:
Diego Costa’s form has been a worry for every side that faces Chelsea as the hefty Spanish striker is on a goal rampage. His ability to rise high above the defenders and find the back of the net has been a constant attribute this year and Shawcross will be the man expected to negate the Spaniard.
Mark Hughes has won two and lost none of the last four home matches he has managed against the Blues. Weather it was with Fulham, QPR or Stoke City, Hughes has given his former club a run for their money.
Telegraph UK – 1-1
BBC – 0-2 to Chelsea