On the road again. We head to the Potteries to face Stoke City, managed by former Blue Mark Hughes. Stoke have been in good form at home pulling a win off in their opening home game against Arsenal 1-0 and then managed to salvage a 2-2 draw against Manchester United. Chelsea have, also, been good on the road winning every game on their travels with wins over Tottenham and Leicester both by the single goal.
Over recent years, the Blues have had a mixed bag of results at the bet365 stadium, coming away with a win on only two occasions out of five, with the other three ending in defeats. The most recent fixture between the sides was last season when Conte’s men won with another 2-1 result thanks to a last-minute ‘stab’ from Gary Cahill to clinch the win, a result which fired them nearer to the title.
Antonio Conte comes into this fixture with the availability of most of his squad at his disposal. He’s without Danny Drinkwater and David Luiz. Drinkwater still remains out after picking up an injury in training and Luiz is serving the second of his three match suspension following his red card against Arsenal last weekend. Eden Hazard is now ready to be selected straight away after he confirmed the midfielder has ‘overcome’ his injury.
Mark Hughes will be without Kurt Zouma due to it being the Frenchman’s parent club so he is unavailable to play.
Changes look to be made again following the cup game in midweek which saw a few of the youngsters get their chance. Conte could switch back to the three in the middle after the Blues struggled last Sunday.
GK – Thibaut Courtois
LWB – Marcus Alonso
CB – Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill (C) and Andreas Christensen
RWB – Victor Moses
CM – N’Golo Kante, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas
CF – Eden Hazard
ST – Alvaro Morata
Stoke will be a tough task on Saturday, but with the moment in which Chelsea have, I think we will grind out a victory just like the other two away games this season. The Potters will score most likely with new signing Jese and Xherdan Shaqiri impressing in the early stages of the season.
Stoke City 1-2 Chelsea