Chelsea will be looking to get their Premier League title challenge back on track with a win at home to in-form Stoke City.
With the exception of the victory over Arsenal, it has been a trying last few weeks for Jose Mourinho, who has seen his side slip to two shock away defeats in the league, and then lose 3-1 in Paris on Wednesday to leave themselves with an uphill battle to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League. These recent results have suggested that Mourinho could end his first season back at Stamford Bridge without any silverware.
The Blues will come up against a Stoke side that has improved considerably in the two months since they met in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Now having reached the 40-point mark thanks to three straight wins, the East Midlands club can now afford to rest easily in mid-table, with a top half finish the aim. Manager Mark Hughes’ decision to swap Kenwyne Jones for Peter Odemwingie in January is now looking like a masterstroke.
Ramires completes a three-match ban for Chelsea, but it will be interesting to see who Mourinho selects as his lone striker, with Samuel Eto’o again set to miss out.
Stoke welcome back Jonathan Walters from a three-match ban, and Charlie Adam could be given his first start since March 1. Despite that, Oussama Assaidi and Robert Huth are still absent.
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