Chelsea’s starting lineup for their clash with Stoke City this afternoon has been announced, with one key name absent for the Premier League champions.
The Blues are set to welcome Mark Hughes’ Potters to Stamford Bridge for a 3pm kick-off, having embarked on a positive recent run of form.
Antonio Conte’s men have picked up 4 wins and a draw from their last 5 outings, lifting the champions to 3rd place in the English top-flight.
Stoke, meanwhile, have managed just 1 win from their last 5 league fixtures, a 3-1 win over struggling West Brom last weekend.
The Potters currently sit precariously in 13th-place in the Premier League table with 20 points, just 3 points above the relegation zone.
The starting XIs for both sides were announced a short time ago, with Antonio Conte having sprung a couple of surprises with his lineup.
The main talking point comes with the exclusion of Eden Hazard, who is forced to make do with a spot on the bench for the capital outfit.
Cesc Fabregas and Tiemoue Bakayoko are also left out, with Andreas Christensen not yet trusted from the start following his recent injury:
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 30, 2017
Stoke boss Mark Hughes, meanwhile, has opted for 6 changes to the side which earned a 1-1 draw at Huddersfield on Tuesday night.
Shawcross, Zouma, Shaqiri, Crouch, Allen and Choupo-Moting all drop out, with Tymon, Diouf, Adam, Affelay, Ramadan and Berahino all included from the start:
City line-up in a 4-5-1 formation.#SCFC: Butland; Edwards, Cameron, Wimmer, Tymon; Diouf, Fletcher, Adam, Afellay, Ramadan; Berahino.
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) December 30, 2017