CHELSEA vs STOKE CITY BETTING PREVIEW
Chelsea secured a routine 2-0 win over Brighton in mid-week to reduce the gap behind the second-placed Manchester UTD to only a single point. The Blues have won each of their last six home league matches and nine of their last 12 league matches, losing just once in that sequence. They are chasing a fourth consecutive clean sheet in the league, and have conceded just 4 goals in their last 11 league outings. Antonio Conte's men have been entirely dominant against the Potters lately, winning each of their three previous direct encounters - including a 4:0 in the last meeting - and scored an impressive tally of ten goals in the process.
Andreas Christensen will be assessed ahead of this clash and could replace Antonio Rudiger or Gary Cahill at the back. Victor Moses has started the last four matches, so Davide Zappacosta may be handed a start at right wing-back, with Marcos Alonso set to continue on the opposite flank. Danny Drinkwater could come into the XI in place of Tiemoue Bakayoko while Eden Hazard will play as number ten behind the lone striker Alvaro Morata. The likes of Pedro and Willian provide further options upfront. David Luiz and Charly Musonda remain out through injury.
Despite managing to earn a 1-1 draw at Huddersfield on Boxing Day, Stoke City are still in the relegation mix, with just three points separating them from the bottom three. They are the Premier League's worst defensive side and have failed to win 9 of their last 10 away matches as their solitary away win this term came Watford in October. The Potters were soundly beaten 7-2 at Manchester City and 5-1 by Tottenham in their only matches away to sides in the top five. Furthermore, Mark Hughes' men have lost ten of their last 11 games at Stamford Bridge in all competitions.
Mark Hughes will be without on-loan defender Kurt Zouma as he ineligible to face his parent club. With Ryan Shawcross, Bruno Marins Indi and Marc Muniesa out through injury, and Erik Pieters a major doubt, Geoff Cameron may drop back into central defence to partner Kevin Wimmer. After scoring in the last two matches, Ramadan Sobhi is pushing for a start. Hughes may potentially consider using Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting as the lone striker in place of Peter Crouch, allowing the Egyptian and Xherdan Shaqiri to start out wide. Jese and Glen Johnson are both doubts, while Stephen Ireland is a long-term absentee.
CHELSEA vs STOKE CITY PROBABLE LINEUPS
Stoke City (4-2-3-1): Butland; Edwards, Wimmer, Cameron, Tymon; Adam, Fletcher; Shaqiri, Allen, Sobhi; Choupo-Moting
CHELSEA vs STOKE CITY ODDS
|CHELSEA||1.18 with||Bet £10, win £11.80|
|THE DRAW||8.50 with||Bet £10, win £85.00|
|STOKE CITY||20.00 with||Bet £10, win £200.00|
CHELSEA vs STOKE CITY PREDICTIONS
|OUR PICKS||BEST ODDS||BOOKMAKER|
|Chelsea -2 Handicap||2.50|
|Penalty awarded YES||3.30|
|Hazard anytime goalscorer||1.95|
|4-0 Correct Score||11.00|
|ANY Goal to be scored in Premier League||51.00|
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