Ahead of tomorrow’s meeting at the Britannia, Stoke and Chelsea played out vividly contrasting scripts in their last Premier League games.
For the Potters’ subdued 0-0 stalemate with Cardiff, check Chelsea’s rollercoaster 4-3 victory against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Either way, both sides enter the fixture in decent form, with Stoke defeated only once in the last eight home games and the Blues on the hunt for their third home win on the bounce.
Stoke have no new injury concerns, with Robert Huth (knee) still sidelined for the foreseeable. It’s likely that Oussana Assaidi will keep his place in Mark Hughes’ starting lineup.
Oscar (ankle) and Eto’o (hamstring) should be back for the visitors, though Juan Mata will probably get the nod ahead of his Brazilian counterpart. Cesar Azpilicueta is expected to keep his left-back starting berth ahead of Ashley Cole.
Stoke City have scored just three goals in 10 Barclays Premier League games against Chelsea, failing to net in the last four in a row.
Chelsea have won 10 and lost none of the last 12 meetings with the Potters in all competitions.
Chelsea inflicted Stoke’s heaviest ever Premier League defeat - 0-7 in April 2010.
The Blues also inflicted Mark Hughes’ heaviest ever Premier League defeat as a coach, with a 1-6 result when he was at QPR in April 2012.
Hughes has enjoyed just two wins and endured 10 defeats in his 15 matches as an opposition coach against his former club Chelsea.
Demba Ba has scored four Premier League goals against Stoke; only against West Brom (6) has he been more prolific.
In this fixture last season, Jonathan Walters scored two own goals and missed a penalty in a 0-4 defeat.
Chelsea will attempt to score 3+ goals in three successive Premier League away games for the first time since August 2009 and only the third time in the competition.
Eden Hazard has scored three and assisted two more in his last four Premier League games.
Frank Lampard (145) and John Terry (34) are the only current Chelsea players to have scored more goals for the club in the Premier League than Stoke boss Mark Hughes (25).