Chelsea chasing 13th league win in a row and is boosted with the return of Costa and Kanté. Stoke it comes from a 4-1 defeat at Liverpool, but managed to made the score 1-0, and in moments show good game. Value in the match?
It speaks for Chelsea
Chelsea (1) comes from a run of 12 wins games in a row, while Stoke (13) coming from a 4-1 defeat to Liverpool.
If Hughes keeps his word about positive football (* 1), Chelsea will have a good matchup, because then you can capitalize on the counterattack and solid defense game.
In the last game against Liverpool, Stoke showed at times really bad defending and individual errors. This will be punished by Chelsea.
Chelsea has the widest squad to cope with the Christmas program, and has the advantage of having had an extra preparation day up for the match.
Chelsea got the last battle “sparred” two of the most important players (Kante and Costa) who were out of quarantine.
Chelsea have four days to the next match, while Stoke have only 3. Chelsea do not save players, and comes with probably the strongest team.
Chelsea have won eight of nine home games and only lost to Liverpool. 5 of these matches are also won by more than 1 goal.
It speaks for Stoke
Stoke showed in moments good football against Liverpool, and was also in front 1-0.
Stoke have managed to get points in 5 of 9 away games this season.
Mark Hughes (Stoke manager) has changed in the recent past between the 3-man defense and four-back chain. It can confuse Chelsea prelude.
Pedro has been flying for Chelsea this season, but overall his fifth yellow card up in the latest battle, and is therefore out of quarantine.
Stoke’s Bardsley is back in training and will be a boost for the team if he becomes combative.
Stoke is now just seven points from the relegation zone, and have to start looking that way. Keep fighting for life in the league is always difficult.
Stoke have had problems with communication and cooperation in defense. If one (as expected) changes to 4-back link, it should improve this.
Conte is good to fire up his team from the sidelines, but is probably more subdued in this fight, when he got a lægskade by participating in the training.