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Stoke v Chelsea Preview

Stoke
vs.
Chelsea

Britannia Stadium

12/01/13

15:00

After the carnage of our 2-0 home defeat, to Swansea in the Capital One Cup semi-final on Wednesday evening, it`s back to the grind that is the Premier League. This Saturday Chelsea face a difficult trip to the Britannia Stadium to face a Stoke City team, managed by Tony Pulis, that are extremely difficult to score against, let alone beat, on their own patch. With our Premier League title ambitions becoming just a distant dream, Rafa Benitez will be perfectly aware that three points are desperately needed to bolster our Champions League qualification hopes for next season.

Vital Quotes:

In a way it`s probably better that we are on the road this weekend, the sudden drop off in our home form, with the increasing pressure on Rafa Benitez, from the home crowd, isn`t reflected on the road with Chelsea picking up 6 wins out of the last 7 fixtures.

Speaking about the problem that playing at home has become, our central defender Gary Cahill has remarked, to the media,

"Normally we are unbelievably hard to beat at Stamford Bridge and we have been getting results."

"We just have to be consistent in what we are doing. Sometimes we are playing fantastic stuff like against Southampton and Everton - but then we chuck it away against QPR and now Swansea."


Three points, up in the Potteries, will be very welcome.

Stoke Team News:


Tony Pulis, continuing to over-achieve with Stoke, has no fresh injury worries going into this intriguing clash.

With regards to his starting eleven, Manchester United target, Asmir Begovic will return to the keepers role whilst there may also be room in the starting eleven for the dangerous Kenwynne Jones.

Player to watch: Peter Crouch

Ideally suited to the Stoke way of playing, all elbows, arms and legs, Crouch will be a handful for the Chelsea defence. Let`s hope the former international won`t upset his Chelsea supporting dad by getting on the score-sheet.

Chelsea Team News:

Rafa Benitez takes his squad to Stoke with some concerns. John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses are away on international duty, with Nigeria, at the African Cup of Nations whilst, on the injury front, Chelsea are still likely to be without the injured Petr Cech.

John Terry, who made his long awaited comeback in an U21 fixture, against Fulham, on Thursday evening, has declared that he is ready to return to the fray but it may be a game too soon for our captain.

Up front, the Chelsea support will be praying that Rafa opts to start with Demba Ba rather than the lethargic Fernando Torres.

Here at Vital Chelsea we half expect Rafa to go with the following starting eleven:-

Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Cole, Luiz, Lampard, Mata, Hazard, Oscar and Ba.

Player to watch: Branislav Ivanovic

Two horrendous horrors, in midweek, against Swansea have put the pressure firmly on the Serbian centre-back to produce a match winning defensive performance. We`re hoping that the tough centre-back rallies to the cause and is able to hold at bay a Stoke City side that will pose an aerial threat like no other side can.

Match Facts & Stats

Although Stoke haven`t been beaten at the Britannia Stadium since February 2012, Chelsea do have a more than decent record against them.

In the last 8 fixtures we`ve won 5 and drawn 3. In fact if you want to know when Stoke last beat Chelsea on home soil, it was at the Victoria Ground on 5th April 1975. It was a bad season for Chelsea as we ended up being relegated.

Stoke`s recent form is good though with the Potteries side having only lost 1 in the last 11 that being against Manchester City. In the other 10 fixtures they`ve won 5 and drawn 5.

Ref Watch:

Our officials for this encounter are:- Referee - Andre Marriner Assistant - R. West Assistant - S. Massey Fourth Official - G. Eltringham

Match Prediction:

There`s no doubting that the Britannia Stadium is a tricky place to visit, Stoke haven`t los ton home soil since February 2012. The match will see a contrast of two styles, Chelsea will try to move the ball around sweetly whilst a robust Stoke side will go route one, getting the ball into the penalty area as often as possible. One concern we do have is whether our 'small` players will be able to cope with the physicality of their Stoke counterparts. Let`s hope they do otherwise Saturday could be one of those days we`re slowly becoming accustomed to. But, I`m keeping the faith and going for a narrow Chelsea victory, by the odd goal in three.

Next Fixtures:

Next up is a Premier League fixture, on Wednesday, against Southampton at Stamford Bridge followed by a visit from Arsenal the following Sunday.


Writer:Merlin
Date:Friday January 11 2013
Time: 4:22PM

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Comments

0
Well we won't be getting any favours from the ref as usual, as marriner,clattenburg,kevin friend,lee mason,howard webb and chris foy just hate chelsea, I don't like this lot as they won't make It easy for us, I believe we can beat this stoke team with cunning and not with brute, play our two wide players in marin and hazard on both wings, cesar should be benched and iva used as a), center halves can be cahill and luiz, with rammy and oscar in the damn pivot, ba as the point man offcourse... Read that cech would be travelling too, don't know if its true
Desmondadonis
11/01/2013 16:35:00
0
Torres was sick, Ba was injured. How long did it take them to come up with this bull. If this was the case why did it take us 48 hours to hear all this? Talk about covering up for ineptitude.
CobhamBlue
11/01/2013 16:42:00
0
Suddenly ba was injured against swansea? Oh yea that true, I saw him wobbling and limping as soon as he was brought on! Bloody scheming liar
Desmondadonis
11/01/2013 17:02:00
0
Our away form (6 win from 7 games) is far better than the home form. I expect a tough game but we will at end. I see a draw as a worst scenario.
jollyheart Torres
11/01/2013 17:04:00
0
shakhtar has signed taison on a 5year deal
kakuta in Ghana
11/01/2013 17:07:00
0
CobhamBlue Benni and Torres have a mutual need of each other, Benny will say whatever for Torres benefit and vice versa even if it means transparent lies to the supporters.
Pantisocrates
11/01/2013 17:08:00
0
@Desmond,@Pantisocrates,@Cobhamblue..you guys cracking me up real hard...Tubby is a a disgrace really...that lie waws pretty cheap!!...lets see what the lies will be the next time torres plays like freaking pregnant sisi...
layorh12
11/01/2013 17:29:00
0
@layor, my friend, seriously didn't u notice demba ba, limping and wobbling for all the 10 minutes he played? He was actually playing thru pain and all even to touch the ball with his leg was difficult and required a superhuman effort, torres stomach was filled with bug so much that he is running away from the swans defenders so he won't affect them with it, infact that bug have been in his stomach since the time he left liverpool, hopefully he'll be treated!! *eyes rolling*
Desmondadonis
11/01/2013 17:38:00
0
@Desmond...do you want to kill me??....m laffing toooooo hard....
layorh12
11/01/2013 18:20:00
0
Are you people for real.We played very good against Swansea,pressed them high up the pitch and stopped there passing game.We had twenty three attempts and missed several very good chances,including having a goal disallowed.Ivanovic made two mistakes and lost us the game and you all want to blame Rafa, just because you don't like him.Get behind the team and stop thinking your all bloody experts.
THEBREEZE
11/01/2013 18:26:00
0
You guys are freaking hilarious..i am laughing my head of here in my office and crying tears reading this stuff..Obviously Rafa is fibbing on this nonsense regarding El Ninos bug and Bas niggle but this took ~48hrs to surface..come on guys..smell the coffee..Rafa did not come up with this on his own..he was put up to this...Roman and his amigos know the guy is already hated...they dont want the fans turning on the golden boy so what do they do..use the hated rafa to be the errand boy to deliver this joke of a lie....this is what it means when your contract says "performing other duties as arise and are required for the good of the club." My goodness i have not had such a good laugh in a long time..thanks guys!!!
GabeU
11/01/2013 18:32:00
0
The breeze, blaming rafa? Yea we are, not for his press conference, but for his choice of striker on that day, this press conference is riddiculous, how come a fit ba, who scored 2 good goals against southampton become a limping ba overnite? We have to be objective when taking sides and see this sham, obviously demba ba is nusrsing an ankle injury for scoring two goals, now If he manage to score in his next full game, rafa would bench him again in the next game after that and start torres as a lone striker and if we lose again, he'll probably come out to tell us in his next press conference that demba ba have been shot by cole with his air rifle and he won't be out indefinitely, oh please gimme a break
Desmondadonis
11/01/2013 18:46:00
0
The breeze, blaming rafa? Yea we are, not only for his press conference, but for his choice of striker on that day, this press conference is riddiculous, how come a fit ba, who scored 2 good goals against southampton become a limping ba overnite? We have to be objective when taking sides and see this sham, obviously demba ba is nusrsing an ankle injury for scoring two goals, now If he manage to score in his next full game, rafa would bench him again in the next game after that and start torres as a lone striker and if we lose again, he'll probably come out to tell us in his next press conference that demba ba have been shot by cole with his air rifle and he won't be out indefinitely, oh please gimme a break
Desmondadonis
11/01/2013 18:47:00
0
He won't be available and will be out indefinitely from the first team*
Desmondadonis
11/01/2013 18:48:00
0
Guys, sorry to digress a bit....this weekend is Watford vs. Middlesbrough...that is Josh against Chalobah!!!....fantastic mouth watering stuff..anybody has a stream where I could see the match??......
layorh12
11/01/2013 18:49:00
0
Desmond..please have mercy!!! you have cruel intentions with this...this is just too funny.. Shot by Coles air rifle..this is just getting better and better. CFC is now one of the most riveting soap operas and reality shows out there..i am still laughing so hard!!!
GabeU
11/01/2013 18:56:00
0
Sorry gabeu, I removed its shine with the typos, but seriously, to what extent will this man and everyother individual defend torres, I am even of the mind that we should try another approach to get something (footballing wise) out of him, but with this obvious lie from rafa, I shake my head in dismay at the length we'll go to save torres's pride, really! A bug? An ankle injury to BA? Its just too lame, that was why I came up with the air rifle stuff
Desmondadonis
11/01/2013 19:05:00
0
@layorh, I would really want to follow this game up too, but I'll have to be contented with match reports, but it will be fantastic if we have an article for this two chelsea future stars (chalobah vs josh) mouthwatering!! Really mouthwatering
Desmondadonis
11/01/2013 19:08:00
0
The success of other club's scouts namely swansea and newcastle's and some others makes me want to shoot most of our scouts with ashley's rifle, what in heaven's name are they doing with roman's money? They keep mugging the poor man, I understand that most if not all of u are aware of the story in this link, but castle signing ba on a free, ben arfa, yohan cabaye, swansea sigurdsson (last year), pablo hernandez, michu? Westbrom, shane long, yacob, mulumbu? Morris? Aston villa benteke weimann? Must we always go for big names and expensive players? m.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/20974154
Desmondadonis
11/01/2013 19:21:00
0
Well rafa for shelling out 50m I am expecting the relationship between money and goals to have worthy offsprings which are shiny trophies!!!! m.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/20993802
Desmondadonis
11/01/2013 19:25:00
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