Stoke City always play a party pooper to big teams and this season they already done it by giving jitters to Manchester United and Arsenal. Mark Hughes’ side have turned BET365 Stadium into a fortress of sorts, having beaten Arsenal already.
They also snatched a point from Manchester United as they became the only team so far to give the Red Devils some sort of competition in the league this season. The next match could decide their future course of action when they host a redefined Chelsea at the BET365 Stadium.
The defending champions had mixed fortunes so bar but will be looking to keep things straight and simple. Matches at the BET365 Stadium have always been a tough affair and particularly for Chelsea.
Stoke has a special affinity for this fixture and in the last ten encounters, they got the better off the Blues on three occasions. With their physical gameplay and dominating attributes, they could see out this game and if they can do it, it would be a huge boost for Hughes.
Predicted 3-4-2-1 Stoke City Lineup Against Chelsea
Jack Butland is probably going to face his toughest test of this season. The 24 year old English international has been a one-man army in the Potters goal and will try to pull his team in this match.
Hughes is likely to stick with his three-man defence formula. The gaffer has given the defence a completely new shape and will continue to do so. Kevin Wimmer and Bruno Martins Indi will be in the Stoke backline. They will have the assistance of on-loan defender Kurt Zouma.
The experience of Darren Fletcher can’t be ignored in this kind of vital matches. The 33-year-old will be under pressure to get along with the speed of this game.
Joe Allen will be the midfield partner of Fletcher. Mame Diouf has reinvented himself in the right wingback position. Marcos Alonso is not the quickest of fullbacks and Diouf can easily fancy a chance against him.
Eric Pieters will try to put a solid performance from the left wingback position.
The combination of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Xherdan Shaqiri could create waves in the Premier League. The pair has all the qualities to dislodge any defence on their day. They will operate from just behind the main striker.
Jese Rodriguez will try to convert the chances that comes towards him in this match. This is how they might line up: