Preview and Prediction for Saturday, April 4, 2015 – English Premier League: Chelsea vs Stoke City
Completely focused on winning the Premier League title, José Mourinho and his players welcome to Stamford Bridge a Stoke City side sitting comfortably in the middle of the league table and a team with the ability to cause problems to bigger clubs.
For the Premier League, Chelsea are still undefeated at home this season, and have allowed only 8 goals in their last 22 league games, keeping 16 clean sheets in that run.
In most football leagues around Europe, a six-point cushion and a game in hand over the second placed side, with just eight weeks to the end of the season, might give the leader some comfort and ease some of the pressure but, in the English Premier League, that’s never the case. With Champions League football now out of their system after being eliminated by PSG, Chelsea can concentrate their efforts only in the Premier League silverware and make it the second trophy of the season. The Blues are the only side in the four major divisions of English football to still be undefeated at home for the league this season and Mourinho and his players certainly want to stretch that record. Despite that fact, Chelsea have been held to three draws in their last four league games played at Stamford Bridge, all by the same result 1-1 (Manchester City, Burnley and Southampton), and if the Blues step into the field this Saturday thinking that the Potters aren’t capable of getting a result like that, then they might be in for a surprise.
Stoke City are currently 10th in the English Premier League and are closer to the Europa league spot (11 points) than they are to the relegation zone (17 points). Despite suffering back-to-back losses against Crystal Palace and West Brom, Stoke’s solid and consistent campaign has led the board of directors to give manager Mark Hughes a contract extension through the 2017-18 season, something that will definitely give him and his team some extra motivation for this game against Chelsea. Stamford Bridge is hardly a good place to play in for any team but it has been particularly difficult for Stoke in the last few years, as they have not only lost their last 6 league games but have allowed 16 goals and scored only 1.
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Back in December, Chelsea visited the Britannia Stadium for the Premier League and came out on top with a 2-0 win with goals from Terry and Fábregas. The Potters have proven to be resilient opponents when playing away from home, grabbing hard-fought wins in difficult venues such as Manchester City (0-1), Tottenham (1-2) and Everton (0-1) and losing to Liverpool (1-0) and Manchester United (2-1) by only a goal. Given Chelsea’s recent displays, this won’t be a walk in the park for the Blues. They’ll have to work really hard to grab the three points against Stoke and move closer to the Premier League title.
Our Prediction: Chelsea to Win
BetOnline Odds: -385