This time last year, Chelsea were on a stunning winning run and coasting towards the Premier League title, yet 12 months on the blues can only look on as Manchester City repeat the trick and then some.
The Blues must instead focus on competing for 2nd spot, and their cause has been much helped in recent weeks by a run of 6 consecutive home wins in the Premier League.
They will look to extend that run this afternoon as Stoke come to visit, with manager Mark Hughes under serious pressure. His side have won just 1 of their last 5 outings, and the fans are beginning to call for his head.
At home against a club in crisis, nothing but a win should be seen as good enough for Chelsea. If they’re to get the result, however, Antonio Conte must get his team selection right. This is the XI we expect him to go with:
|PLAYER||% MINS PLD||GLS||AST.|
|0||1||0 / 0|
|2||6||1 / 0|
|0||0||0 / 0|
|2||2||4 / 0|
|1||1||2 / 0|
|0||0||0 / 0|
|1||0||1 / 0|
|5||2||6 / 0|
|4||4||0 / 0|
|8||7||1 / 0|
|12||4||5 / 0|
|Totals||35||27||20 / 0|
|TOTAL PREMIER LEAGUE EXPERIENCE|
César Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rüdiger continue to impress as a defensive trio for Chelsea, and all look set to keep their places here. They have started together 6 times previously, and only lost on 1 occasion.
The Premier League winning partnership of Danny Drinkwater and N'Golo Kanté hasn’t has much chance to impress in a Chelsea shirt, having only lined up alongside one another twice so far, but experienced observers of the division know exactly what they’re capable of. They will start here and have the ability to overrun any midfield.
Alvaro Morata made a scoring return to the team against Brighton on Boxing Day, and he will be asked to go again here. With 12 goals and 4 assists to his name already this term, he is undoubtedly one of the most feared marksmen in the country right now.
Overall, it’s an incredibly strong Chelsea side and one that should be more than capable of beating Stoke here. New Betfair customers can bet on the Blues to win alongside Man Utd, Liverpool and Everton at enormous odds of 80/1, and there can scarcely be a more intriguing bet this weekend.
Taking a look at KickOff’s all-new Acca Smacker (below), we can see what a great accumulator bet that really is. Our unique predictive algorithm places a Chelsea win at 79%, a Man Utd win at 76% and a Liverpool win at 65%. With three legs looking so strong, the bet is surely worth backing!