Chelsea visit Stoke for our first Saturday 3pm Kick Off of the season. The match comes after an international break, and hopefully we can pick up where we left off with another great Chelsea display.
A win would equal a club record of ten straight Premier League wins.
Currently top on Goal Difference, with Spurs at home to Man United it gives us a good chance of going top on points.
Last seasons meeting at the Brittania Stadium was also in September, with a José Bosingwa strike down the far end followed up with a Nicolas Anelka effort in front of the travelling Chelsea support. It was also the first game that Juliano Belletti’s song really got going.
Who can forget the last time the two sides met though, at Stamford Bridge. The second half saw a Rory Delap goal with half hour remaining left us trailing 1-0, with just a couple of minutes left and the prospect of a third home league defeat under Scolari a strong possibility, the Brazilian must have been relieved when his fellow countryman Belletti scored an 88th minute header to draw us level. Just minutes lasted a Frank Lampard left footer gave us a late late 2-1 win.
Ancelotti has announced that Deco will miss tomorrow’s trip (although he should be back against former club Porto). Despite playing a practice match in midweek, both Joe Cole and Paolo Ferriera are both ruled out of tomorrow’s match. Yuri Zirkov is the only longer term absentee. Alex is still a doubt but has not yet been ruled out.
Former Chelsea defender Robert Huth was snapped up by Stoke late in the transfer window, him and Tuncay both came on as late subs in the Potters last match, and will both be in with a chance of starting tomorrow. Huth started 32 matches for us in all competitions, came on 30 times as a sub, and scored twice (well, three times but one in Europe against Zilina that clearly crossed the line wasn’t spotted by the lino).
Mike Dean is the ref for the match, his last match was United Vs Arsenal, where he handed out nine yellows but no reds. Last season Mike Dean reffed five of our matches without any sendings off, these were our home matches to Pompey (1y) and Arsenal (2y), and away games to Watford (2y), Tottenham (4y) and West Ham (1y). The season before that he sent Obi Mikel off away at Old Trafford.
Predicted Chelsea team:
Cech, A. Cole, Terry, Carvalho, Bosingwa, Mikel, Essien, Lampard, Ballack, Anelka, Drogba
Subs: Hilario, Alex, Belletti, Ivanovic, Malouda, Kalou, Sturridge
Predicted Score: 1-0 Chelsea