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Stoke vs Chelsea – Match Preview

Stoke defender Geoff Cameron returns after recovering from a thigh strain which saw him miss the last two games.

Phil Bardsley is available after serving a one-match suspension, but midfielder Marco van Ginkel is ineligible against his parent club.

Chelsea forward Pedro is fit again and returned as a substitute in the midweek victory over Dynamo Kiev.

Defender Branislav Ivanovic has returned to training after recovering from a hamstring injury.

However, the Blues will have to do without their manager Jose Mourinho, who has been given a one-match stadium ban over his behaviour in the defeat by West Ham.

Editor’s Note: Here we go again, another week of the Jose Mourinho Roadshow only he won’t actually be at The Britannia Stadium tonight so maybe the focus will be more on the action on the pitch rather than off it.

Chelsea were rescued by Willian’s moment of magic on Wednesday as they just eased past Dynamo Kiev in Champions League, people were saying that might just have saved Mourinho’s job. I don’t think that’s strictly true but it certainly didn’t him any harm as failure to get out of the group stages will surely push the special one closer to the exit door.

Today Chelsea go up against a Stoke side who had Jack Butland to thank for coming away with a point at St James’ Park, his goalkeeping heroics and subsequent clean sheet were certainly the difference between Stoke leaving the North East empty handed and escaping with a hard earned point.

Talking of hard earned, it’s certainly going to be that if Chelsea come away with a win. That said I think they will have enough to exact revenge on being knocked of the League Cup last week and be able to come away with all 3 points. Is Wednesday a turning point for Chelsea’s season, then again we said after their win over Aston Villa that their season starts now. With this Chelsea side you never quite know do you…

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