Chelsea have received a confidence boost ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash at Stoke.
Stoke boss Mark Hughes is facing an injury crisis, particularly in his side’s defence.
Addressing the media on Friday, Hughes revealed that he may have just one first-team central defender available.
“As it stands, of the senior centre-halves that I’ve got, I’ve only got one,” the Former Manchester Untied defender said.
“Ryan Shawcross won’t be available and Geoff Cameron won’t be available” due to their respective back and hamstring injuries.
To make matters worse, loanee Kurt Zouma is ineligible to play against his parent club.
“We’ve got a major doubt on Kevin Wimmer, so that’s touch and go. We will have to have a look and see how he is today,” Huges added.
“I’m keeping my fingers crossed Wimmer will be OK. He’s got damage to his hamstring. I am hoping it won’t stop him playing.”
Both sides were in midweek Carabao Cup action and each fielded rotated sides.
Hughes’ side were dumped out after a 2-0 defeat at Bristol City, while Chelsea’s second side hammered Nottingham Forest 5-1.
Antonio Conte would have been confident of his side’s chances regardless of Stoke’s team news, but the current situation will give him a bit more assurance.
That said, Saturday’s game will be only the third time this season that Stoke have played in front of their home fans in the Premier League.
On both previous occasions the Potters played a top six side and on both occasions they picked up a positive result.
Their 1-1 draw with Man United and and 1-0 win over Arsenal will be a warning to the Blues.