This weekend sees Mark Hughes and his men travel to West London to face a Chelsea side looking to make a statement and re-establish themselves as Premier League and European heavy weights.
With the return of the king, the Chelsea fans had hoped there wait to taste Premier League glory again had come to an almost fairy tale end. But the self-proclaimed ‘the happy one’ will be fully aware that after missed opportunities against Villa and Palace he has gifted opportunities to others in the hunt. Coming off the back of there midweek misery in Paris, Mourinhio will be hoping to get his title dreams back on track. Despite cries from the Portuguese manger that there title dreams have been crushed, the premier league table tells a very different story. Chelsea sit two points behind league leaders Liverpool with 6 games remaining. For a squad the size of Chelsea’s March was a disappointing month for the Blue army, picking up 9 points from a possible 15. In there final 5 Chelsea will be facing Swansea, Sunderland, Liverpool, Norwich and Cardiff. A run of games that will no doubt make or break Chelsea’s season.
However in comparison March for the Potters could not have gone more successfully. Picking up a remarkable 13 points out of a possible 15 and unbeaten in the league since late February. Stoke sit 10th and more importantly 14 points clear of the drop zone. Mark Hughes has secured Stoke’s premier league status for another season. Former Chelsea man Hughes will also be hoping to pick up three points off a potentially vulnerable Chelsea. After seeing the performances by Paul Lambert’s and Tony Pulis’s team, Stoke will be aware that they have nothing to fear or lose come there 5:30 meeting in West London. In Stoke’s remaining games they will be entertaining Newcastle, Cardiff, Tottenham, Fulham and West Brom.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 5:30PM
PREVIOUS THREE MEETINGS:
26/01/14 (FA CUP) - Chelsea 1 (Oscar) Stoke 0
07/12/13 – Stoke 3 (Crouch, Ireland, Assaidi) Chelsea 2 (Schürrle 2)
12/01/13 – Stoke 0 Chelsea 4 (Walters OG 2, Lampard PEN, Hazard)
Jose Mourinho’s side have recovered 10 points from losing positions on home soil this season, more than any other team in the top flight.
Peter Odemwingie has scored in three successive Premier League appearances for the first time since May 2011 (five apps in a row).
Only Stoke City (15) have recovered more points from losing positions than Chelsea (14)
Chelsea win – 0.2
Draw – 6.0
Stoke win – 13.0
TV: Sky Sports 1 at 5:30pm, highlights on BBC1 at 10:25pm