Chelsea will welcome Stoke City to Stamford Bridge as the Blues will look to continue their climb up the Premier League table under Guus Hiddink. It is unusual to see the Potters above Chelsea this late on in the season but a win for the home side will see them draw level on points and move above them on goal difference.
Head to head
The omens are not good for the away side. Stoke have not won at Stamford Bridge since 1974, an astounding long time to have not gained a victory.
Another omen for Stoke is that their form in the capital is something that needs rectifying. The Staffordshire club have only won one of their last 14 games in London, losing eight matches in that run.
Injury hit Stoke
While Chelsea will still be without the centre-back partnership of John Terry and Kurt Zouma, and Pedro is also a doubt for the match, Mark Hughes has been given a selection headache due to the amount of injuries his side had suffered.
The Potters are without a number of first team mainstays, including their captain Ryan Shawcross who has been a feature of the Stoke City defence for a number of seasons.
Hughes will also not be able to call on influential midfielder Charlie Adam, and Glen Johnson will be missing from their defence.
Hiddink’s second spell in charge of Chelsea has been just as successful as his first. The former Netherlands manager has revitalised the champions since his arrival, and the Blues have only lost one match under his guidance.
The loss was a narrow 2-1 defeat at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, meaning that Hiddink is still unbeaten domestically. In fact if Chelsea avoid defeat against Stoke he will set a record of being the first manager in Premier League history to begin his tenure with a 12 match unbeaten streak.
If any statistic can highlight the fantastic form that Hiddink has brought to Chelsea it is their 2016 points total, the Dutchman was not in charge for very long in 2015 so he should be judged on his 2016 form. Chelsea have accumulated the joint highest points total this year, with Tottenham being the only team to match them.
Costa firing again
Diego Costa was one of the major sufferers at the start of the season. The Brazil born Spanish international was Chelsea top scorer in their title winning season last term but had only scored four goals in the first 22 matches he appeared in for Chelsea this season.
If Chelsea were to turn their season around they needed their main man up front to get himself back amongst the goals again. The former Atletico Madrid man has done just that, scoring 10 goals in his previous 15 matches. Costa can also boast six assists this season, meaning the frontman certainly has the ability to create chances for his teammates.
Stoke have conceded eight goals in their last five matches and with Costa being on such red hot scoring form, expect to see the Chelsea number 19 get himself on the score sheet.