Chelsea will need to be at their best against Stoke . Stokes record against big teams this season looks good.
A draw against Man United and victory over Arsenal. They are disciplined without the ball , keep their shape , difficult to break down and can break quickly. Chelsea will need to find a way past Stokes back three.
Darren Fletcher Vs Ngolo Kante
Both engine rooms of their teams mildfield. They see the game differently.
Fletcher will dictate Stokes game from deep if he’s not closed down quickly.
Kante will lead the press in mildfield and his energy will be vital to win possession back when Chelsea lose the ball.
Hazard Vs Bruno Martins Indi
Stoke will miss Chelsea loanee Kurt Zouma in this game. He’s been influential since arriving from Chelsea and played well in games against Arsenal and Manchester United.
Harzard will get his first league start and He will be Chelsea’s main attacking threat on the pitch.
IndI may go physical but will struggle with Hazards trickery and bust of pace.
WHERE THE GAME WILL BE WON OR LOST
Stokes Back Three
Mark Hughes have switched to a back three this season and he’s been rewarded with solid defensive performances against Arsenal and Manchester United.
Zoumas performance in the back three was exceptional and getting a good result today would depend on how others take responsibility in the absence of Zouma.
Chelseas Front Three
Chelsea’s front three looked lacklustre against Arsenal.
They lacked ideas and couldn’t breakdown Arsenals back three.
With Hazard starting today, He will bring more pace and invention and I would like to see him link-up more with Morata.
I see Chelsea taking this one .