Chelsea vs Stoke City
No sooner did the Boxing Day fixtures end, focus shifted on towards the weekend’s Premier League action.
After just a few days rest, Chelsea will host Stoke City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Chelsea warmed up for the Potters with a 2-0 home win over Brighton.
After a goalless first half, it was the Cesar Azpilicueta to Alvaro Morata combination that made the difference for the Blues.
Chelsea’s second came exactly on the hour. Cesc Fabregas took the corner, Marcos Alonso headed home for 2-0 and game over.
With the result rendered a formality, Antonio Conte was able to sub Eden Hazard out the game early to keep his star player as fresh as possible.
As for Stoke, they picked up a point in a 1-1 draw away at Huddersfield Town.
Tom Ince fired the Terriers into an early lead, but Ramadan Sobhi’s header on the hour levelled the match.
Stoke face a selection crisis
Looking ahead to the Chelsea game, Mark Hughes has some serious selection problems. Particularly at the back.
Kurt Zouma is out of the game as per the terms of his season long loan deal from Chelsea.
Bruno Martins Indi was already ruled out with a long term injury. Also out of contention are Erik Pieters and Glen Johnson.
And to compound matters, Ryan Shawcross also picked up an injury in the Huddersfield game. The influential centre-half was subbed out the game after just 32 minutes with an injury.
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) December 26, 2017
Finally – to add insult to injury – Stoke’s stand-in right back Thomas Edwards was spotted with an ice pack on his calf after the Huddersfield match.
Edwards leaving with ice pack on his calf, Shawcross still limping pretty heavily.
— Pete Smith (@PeteSmith1983) December 26, 2017