WHERE IS THE MATCH BEING PLAYED?
The game is at the Britannia Stadium. Here’s all the stadium information you need.
Geoff Cameron is back in the Stoke squad. The USA international has missed the last two games because of a thigh problem but is fully fit again. Fellow defender Marc Muniesa (hamstring) is expected to miss a couple more weeks and keeper Shay Given (knee) is also out but Phil Bardsley returns after serving a one-match ban.
Branislav Ivanovic is in contention to return for Chelsea in Saturday’s Premier League clash at Stoke. Right-back Ivanovic has been absent in recent weeks with a hamstring injury, but is available again. Striker Radamel Falcao is out for a few weeks after sustaining an undisclosed injury in training on Tuesday, while goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois (knee) remains sidelined.
WHY IS IT WORTH FOLLOWING?
Because Jose Mourinho remains under intense scrutiny, even if Chelsea did manage to get a late winner to beat Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League. There has been some informed speculation that Chelsea may be waiting until after this match to sack Mourinho, with an international window providing ample opportunity for a replacement to bed in.
A twist to proceedings is that Mourinho will not be in attendance in any case. He is serving a one-match ban and while he will travel with the squad, he is not allowed into the stadium and says he may watch the match on an iPad on the street. So Mourinho cannot influence what could in theory be his last game.
Certainly, if Chelsea fall to a seventh defeat in 12 matches in the Premier League the clamour to remove him will grow louder.
Mark Hughes: “It’s understandable Peter wants more football but he and others will just need to be patient. It’s still early on in the season. I fully understand where he’s coming from but I wouldn’t like to let him go in January, not if I had the choice.”
Jose Mourinho: “It will not be easy for me to watch the game from somewhere else, as you can imagine. I’ve never been banned from a stadium before. I’m being stopped from doing my work and stadium bans should be associated with something serious, regarding aggression. This stadium ban is related to words, to complaints.”
Mark Hughes’ side have won just one of their last five Barclays Premier League games at the Britannia Stadium (W1 D1 L3).
Prior to their recent League Cup elimination via penalties to Stoke at the Britannia Stadium, Chelsea had won 14 and lost just one of the previous 17 meetings in all competitions with Stoke.
Chelsea have won just two of their last 10 away matches in all competitions (W2 D3 L5) and one of the draws ended in the shoot out defeat by Stoke.
Loic Remy has scored three goals in three Premier League appearances against Stoke City.
Only Sunderland (69) have allowed more shots on target against them than Chelsea (63) in the Premier League this season.
Jack Butland has made more saves than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League this season (46).
Jose Mourinho has lost six league games already in 2015-16 – he’s never lost seven games in a single league season as a manager.
Of all reigning Premier League champions, this is the worst title defence after 11 games of a season (11 points); the previous worst tally was set by Blackburn Rovers (14 points in 1995-96).
Chelsea have already conceded more goals this season (22) than they managed in the whole of 2004-05 (15) and the same number as in the whole of 2005-06 (22).
If Chelsea lose this game, it’ll be the first time that they’ve lost seven of their opening 12 games in a top-flight season since 1978-79; a season that they were relegatedShare