Stoke City vs Chelsea team news: Thibaut Courtois and Diego Costa return for Jose Mourinho's Blues

The match kicks off at 8pm

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The Independent Online

Jose Mourinho has made five changes from his Chelsea team who beat Derby County in the Capital One Cup quarter-final last week for tonight's match at Stoke, including bringing Thibaut Courtois and Diego Costa back in his starting XI.

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Courtois had missed Chelsea's last three games with a groin injury.

Willian, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic also return.

Chelsea will stay top of the Premier League table for Christmas Day if they avoid losing by two goals.

If Chelsea lose 1-0, it will leave the Blues with exactly the same amount of games played, won, drawn and lost as second-placed Manchester City, as well as goals scored and conceded.

This means that Chelsea would then stay top of the League because of alphabetical order. Although if this was the same after 38 games at the end of the season, then the two teams would have to play in a one-off fixture if they were tied in every situation.

Stoke, on the other hand, have won just one of their last four Premier League fixtures, though that result was the 3-2 triumph over Arsenal last Saturday.

Stoke XI: Begovic; Bardsley, Shawcross, Muniesa, Pieters; Cameron, Nzonzi; Walters, Bojan, Arnautovic; Crouch.

Subs: Butland, Huth, Whelan, Wilson, Adam, Diouf, Assaidi.

Chelsea XI: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Mikel, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Hazard; Diego Costa.

Subs: Cech, Filipe Luis, Zouma, Ake, Oscar, Schurrle, Drogba

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