With a lot of speculations around the future of the club and its manager Jose Mourinho, Chelsea somehow managed to beat Ukranian club Dynamo Kiev in the UEFA Champions League, courtesy a late goal from Willian. Still the pressure on Jose Mourinho stays as the Blues travel to face Stoke City, the team that knocked them out of League Cup. A loss against Stoke will make Mourinho’s future at Chelsea uncertain. Unfortunately, Mourinho has been banned from the technical area and will watch the match from he stands.
The defending Premier League champions are 15th in the league table and will look to bounce back after the loss to Liverpool last weekend. How will Chelsea line-up for he crucial clash?
Asmir Begovic is likely to retain his place as the goalkeeper for the game against Stoke. In the previous weeks, Mourinho used Kurt Zouma as he right-back in the absence of Branislav Ivanovic and the move backfired massively. The Special One started with Cesar Azpilicueta, Kurt Zouma, John Terry and Abdul Baba Rahman at the back against Dynamo Kiev and the quartet performed very well on the night. So it won’t be a surprise if Chelsea has the same four players at the back on Saturday. Mourinho will be hoping that his defence does the job his team this time after a poor show against Liverpool in the weekend.
In the midfield, Jose Mourinho recalled Nemanja Matic into the starting lineup as he played alongside Ramires against Kiev. The duo is likely set to start against Stoke as well as they looked good together and look like they just need more playing time together to get better. The attacking midfield is set to have Willian and for the next two spots, four names are in contention. Out of Oscar, Fabregas, Pedro and Hazard, only two will be playing alongside Willian and Mourinho might not tinker with the squad that faced Kiev, which means Pedro and Hazard will start from the bench allowing Oscar and Cesc to start.
Spanish striker Diego Costa, who is in a terrible run, will start for the Blues as the lone striker for Chelsea.
Chelsea Starting Lineup: Begovic; Azpi, Zouma, Terry, Rahman; Matic, Ramires; Fabregas, Oscar, Willian; Costa