Chelsea vs Stoke City Preview: Potters aim to stop Blues’ record win streak

Chelsea vs Stoke City Preview: Potters aim to stop Blues’ record win streak

Stoke City travel to Stamford Bridge aiming to stop the rampant Blues.

Jack Mceachen

Stoke City travel to Chelsea on New Year’s Eve aiming to stop Antonio Conte’s rampant side.

Chelsea have racked up 12 straight wins and one more would tie them with the Premier League record that Arsenal hold from their run in the 2001-02 season.

The home side will also be buoyed by the return of Diego Costa and N’Golo Kante from suspension, as the pair missed the Boxing Day victory over Bournemouth.

Team News

The influential Chelsea pair aforementioned will more than likely return to the starting line-up, despite Willian and Cesc Fabregas, who were brought in for the suspended duo, performing well in their last game.

John Terry has returned to training following a gluteal strain, while manager Conte pulled up with a calf injury during one of his rigorous training sessions, though his injury isn’t deemed to be serious.

Pedro will also miss the game at Stamford Bridge through suspension.

Pedro scoring against Bournemouth. (Photo: Jordan Mansfield/Getty)

For Stoke, Phil Bardsley could make a return to the squad after suffering a knee injury in November. Marc Muniesa and Geoff Cameron are still unavailable for the trip to London.

Forward Bojan could move into the starting lineup, after being promised more gametime by manager Mark Hughes following speculation he could leave in January.

What have the managers had to say?

Conte had a message for his players ahead of the game: “12 wins in a row is a great achievement but it’s not enough to win the league at this point of the season.”

He also said that they have a tough game against Stoke coming up and that they must pay attention if they want to continue on their winning run.

Stoke boss Hughes was full of praise for the opposition in his pre-match press conference: “They are very strong at the moment,” Hughes conceded. “They set up strong defensively.

“They’ve got a formation working very well for them and a formation their manager is very comfortable with which he’s used at previous clubs.”

Previous Meetings

Chelsea haven’t beaten Stoke in their last three meetings. Last season, Stoke earned a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, a game in which a late Mame Biram Diouf goal levelled Bertrand Traore’s opener.

At the (formerly known as) Britannia Stadium last season, a Marko Arnautovic acrobatic finish saw Stoke win 1-0 against Chelsea as Jose Mourinho was forced to serve a stadium ban.

Marko Arnautovic's acrobatic strike against Chelsea last season. (Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty)

The Stats

Despite recent good results, Stoke haven’t won in 11 visits to Chelsea, with their last victory coming in April 1974.

While Chelsea haven’t lost their final game of a calendar year since a 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa in 2011.