Chelsea vs Stoke – Premier League preview and team news

Victory over Stoke City will see Chelsea extend their lead at the top of the Premier League and take another important step towards regaining the title.

The Blues will be desperate to return to winning ways at home following their Champions League exit at the hands of Paris St. Germain and the frustrating draw with Southampton, and they should be confident given that they have won their last eight meetings with Stoke at the Bridge.

Despite not being first-choice, Loic Remy has come up with the occasional important goal for Jose Mourinho’s men and he produced the goods just moments after coming on at Hull, sparing his side after they relinquished a two-goal lead. Some of their defending in that game will have left them slightly concerned, so Mourinho will demand an improvement here.

Stoke will be determined to avoid a third straight defeat, following a below-par display at West Bromwich Albion and an unfortunate reverse to Crystal Palace, where a bad five minutes just before half-time meant their dominance counted for little. However, their position in the table means they can play with a little freedom.

And manager Mark Hughes has been rewarded for the work he has done for the Potters, earning a new contract until 2019. He will be keen for this campaign not to peter out and he has players who are capable of hurting Chelsea, with Marko Arnautovic keen to prove a point to Mourinho.

Chelsea are hopeful that Diego Costa will be fit after he missed Spain’s two matches over the international week. John Obi Mikel definitely misses out.

The away side are without the ineligible Victor Moses, along with long-term absentees Bojan Krkic and Peter Odemwingie.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Chelsea v Stoke

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