Chelsea FC – Stoke City
With only 3 matches left this season, all eyes are on Chelsea FC as they attempt to preserve a 1 point lead ahead of Manchester United. The Red Devils have won the last 3 league titles and are battling for a chance at an unprecedented 4 in a row. The most trying moment for Chelsea will likely be their May 2nd trip to Anfield Road, but this week’s home match against the Potters is of equal importance. Carlo Ancelotti will take no chances after dropping points in last week’s 2-1 away loss to Tottenham Hotspur. John Terry saw red against Spurs but the Blues will be bolstered by the return of Ashley Cole.
Tony Pulis has been impressive over the last 2 seasons simply by avoiding relegation from the Premier League. The Potters are now in 11th place and level on points with 10th place Fulham FC. They play for pride now and a draw against the top side in England would be an impressive notch on Pulis’ belt. Their recent form has not been so good as they drew at Molineux and were defeated at Brittania by Bolton in their last match. However, they took care of both Arsenal and Manchester City in the FA Cup so Chelsea should take nothing for granted here.
Chelsea FC vs Stoke City
Sunday 25 April, 2010 – 5:00 PM (CET)
36th match day
Stamford Bridge – London
Possible starting XIs:
>> Chelsea FC: Cech, Zhirkov, Cole, Alex, Ivanovic, Deco, Ballack, Lampard, Anelka, Drogba, Malouda.
>> Stoke City: Sorensen, Collins, Higginbotham, Faye, Huth, Delap, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington, Beattie, Tuncay.
Head-to-Head in English Premiere League:
|12-09-2009||Stoke City – Chelsea||1:2|
|17.01.2009||Chelsea FC – Stoke City||2:1|
|27.09.2008||Stoke City – Chelsea FC||0:2|
|11.05.1985||Stoke City – Chelsea FC||0:1|
|15.12.1984||Chelsea FC – Stoke City||1:1|
|05.04.1975||Stoke City – Chelsea FC||3:0|
|26.10.1974||Chelsea FC – Stoke City||3:3|
The title is in Chelsea’s hands if they have the nerves to win out. The players know how important this match is and will be seriously testing the Potters’ goalkeeper. Stoke have no more ambitions this year and as a result are on a recent downtrend in form. Previous fixtures between these two clubs have always been tightly contested but Chelsea’s resolve will likely produce another home win.
Prediction: Chelsea to win