Chelsea Faces Stoke In Battle For Second Spot


Chelsea are looking to leapfrog Manchester United into second spot after beating Brighton on Boxing Day.

Chelsea closed the gap on United to just one point as Jose Mourinho’s men dropped two points at home to this season’s surprise package Burnley.

Chelsea will hope to make further ground when they welcome a struggling Stoke side on Saturday.

Chelsea will be hosting Stoke at Stamford Bridge in their last fixture for the year 2017 by 4pm today. Chelsea have won 25 points from a possible 27 in their nine Premier League home matches against Stoke City (W8 D1 L0).

Chelsea have also not lost their final Premier League match in a calendar year since 2011, 1-3 at home to Aston Villa.

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Andreas Christensen could return to the Chelsea side against Stoke after missing the win over Brighton with illness, while captain Gary Cahill who deputised for Christensen, could drop to the bench. David Luiz remains sidelines with a knee injury.

Mark Hughes is facing something of a defensive crisis after Ryan Shawcross was forced off in Stoke’s 1-1 draw with Huddersfield on Boxing Day.

The Potters are also without Bruno Martins Indi, while Kurt Zouma will be unavailable against his parent club.

Hughes said, “We might be able to get Erik Pieters back at the weekend. That will be touch and go. Bruno’s probably another two-and-a-half weeks away.”

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