Everything you need to know ahead of Monday’s Premier League match at the Bet365 Stadium as the Blues travel to face the Potters.
Antonio Conte will face off against Stoke City on Saturday afternoon as Chelsea focus their attention back on the Premier League after an impressive FA Cup win over Manchester United on Monday.
Mark Hughes’ side are in good form and gave the Blues a scare at Stamford Bridge as they hurt the league leaders in the air, but they ultimately lost in an epic 4-2 thriller.
Kante is more than just a good tackler, says Fabregas
Chelsea are 10 points clear at the top of the table and are looking like strong favourites to win the title, but a defeat could renew hope for Tottenham and Manchester City, who chase the west London club.
Victor Moses is a major doubt to face his former club Stoke on Saturday after he came off against Manchester United with what is thought to be a calf strain.
He could be out for up to three weeks with the injury, which could see him ruled out of the upcoming international fixtures, as well as the Premier League clash in the midlands.
Chelsea & Man City keen on Coman but Bayern hold all the aces
Antonio Conte has had few other injury problems to contend with this season and the rest of their squad is expected to be fit, despite Manchester United’s rough treatment of Eden Hazard and Diego Costa on Monday.
David Luiz is playing through a minor knee injury that he sustained from Sergio Aguero’s red-card tackle in December but he has been available for all of Chelsea’s big clashes.
Charly Musonda and Kenedy have returned to the club after being recalled from their loan moves at Real Betis and Watford respectively, and will provide cover for the current first team for the remainder of the season.
Chelsea have no players suspended for the match and have had few issues with discipline all season. John Terry has been their only player to be sent off, in the FA Cup against Peterborough United.
Bayern Munich to battle Chelsea and Inter Milan in Singapore as part of International Champions Cup
In 2017 the rules altered slightly regarding suspensions for an accumulation of yellow cards, with 10 bookings now being required to acquire a ban. David Luiz and Pedro are three bookings away from a two-match suspension as they are now on seven for the campaign.
N’Golo Kante and Diego Costa have six bookings in domestic competitions, while Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas have five.
CHELSEA POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP
Conte is once again set to use his tried and tested first XI. The Blues are having success by making fewer rotations than their rivals while playing in a 3-4-3 formation.
In terms of personnel, Pedro and Willian have been battling it out for a place up top, while Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas compete in central midfield. There are signs that Fabregas is beginning to win the battle over the Serbia international, but Conte recently dropped him again for the more defensive-minded Matic on Monday night.
Diego Costa will lead the line as he competes with the likes of Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Everton’s Romelu Lukaku for the Premier League Golden Boot.
STOKE TEAM NEWS
England goalkeeper Jack Butland remains on the long-term injured list with Lee Grant performing in his place. Mark Hughes will also be without Stephen Ireland who suffered a broken leg during a training session in May last year.
Glen Johnson is out after Hughes reported an injury to his shoulder last week, but Stoke will see the return of their key attacker Marko Arnautovic, who has recovered from his illness.
Mame Biram Diouf and Xherdan Shaqiri were doubts but Hughes has confirmed that they will be available to face Chelsea.
BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS
Cesc Fabregas has assisted seven goals in eight Premier League starts against Stoke, with the Spaniard also netting two in the process.
Indeed, only against Spurs (11) has Fabregas provided more assists in the Premier League than versus Stoke (7).
Diego Costa’s next Premier League goal will be his 50th in the competition and would be the seventh Chelsea player to reach that milestone for the club.
TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME
The game isn’t broadcast on UK television live but the highlights will be shown on BBC’s Match of the Day on Saturday night. MOTD starts at 22:30 GMT.