Chelsea favourites to beat Stoke City in Premier League

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Stoke City have yet to register a win against Chelsea in recent years. The last English Premier League victory was on 1975 at Stoke City home ground.

All eyes will be on Chelsea as the Blues is determine to bounce back from the English Premier League defeat to Queens Park Rangers (QPR) in addition to Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat by Swansea City in the first leg of the English League Cup semi-final.

Are you wondering if Benitez will start Demba Ba or Torres in Chelsea attacking front?

The Londoners have looked formidable on the road, in stark contrast to the European champions’ form at home where successive defeats have severely dented their bid for honours this season.

And

Chelsea supporters greeted the loss with fresh condemnation of both interim manager Benitez, his fellow Spaniard and misfiring striker Fernando Torres, as well as slamming the clubs failure to offer a new contract to fans’ favourite Frank Lampard.

It didn’t help that Chelsea’s previous appearance on home turf had seen them fall to a shock 1-0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers who sit at the foot of the Premier League table, a result that all but ended the Blues’ title hopes.

Those results overshadowed the impressive victory at Everton and the confident 5-1 defeat of Southampton in last weekend’s FA Cup third round, Chelsea’s fifth successive away win in domestic competitions.

And while Chelsea centre-back Gary Cahill has struggled to explain the pattern, it is clear Benitez’s side risk further criticism if they return from the Britannia Stadium empty handed.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with our home form,” Cahill said. “Normally, we are unbelievably hard to beat at Stamford Bridge and we’ve been getting results. We just have to be consistent in what we are doing.

“We’re finding it difficult at the moment when teams camp in and put up two blocks of four to break down.

“We’re having all the possession but it counts for nothing unless you create a lot. In the first half against Swansea, we did create chances and if you take one or two of them then they (the opposition) have to come out — it would have been the same thing with QPR.”

Benitez must decide whether Torres or Demba Ba offers the more effective cutting edge.

Ba scored twice on his debut against Southampton and had an effort ruled out for offside against Swansea after appearing as a late substitute, suggesting he is the striker in form.

Meanwhile Chelsea captain John Terry is nearing a return to fitness after a knee problem but is unlikely to feature this weekend.

Benitez will at least find some support at the Britannia Stadium after Stoke manager Tony Pulis called for Chelsea to make him their permanent, as opposed to “interim” boss.

“Rafa needs the opportunity — and it isn’t weeks or months, you have to give people time,” said Pulis.

“Chelsea have got some fantastic players. But the instability of the club is partly to blame in lots of respects.

“You’ve got to let people get on with their jobs and do the job in good times and bad times. Man United have bad runs, Man City, but you have to stick with what you believe.

“Hopefully they’ve picked their manager now and will give him the opportunity — and it isn’t weeks, not a few months, you have to give him a few years in the job to put everything in place to build a club and get the results that manager wants. You can’t do it on a weekly or monthly basis.”

“The players they have could go anywhere and win a game of football.”

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