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Stoke vs Chelsea preview

Stoke City
vs.
Chelsea

Britannia Stadium

Saturday 2nd April 2011

3pm

It's been a long old two weeks since we thrashed the Toon Army and many of us will have had Wembley on our minds - especially when it's come to forking out for those tickets but we're back to League action and this one isn't going to be a pushover with the visit of the league champions to the Brit.

Vital Quotes:

It's the visit of teams such as Chelsea that we look forward to with a mixture of excitement and not a little trepidation. Tony Pulis is obviously thankful that we've not got his 'favourite' referee Mike Dean who seemed intent to play on until Chelsea scored last year and so is hoping for a bit of luck this time. Speaking to the official site he said he needed 'one or two of their big players to have an off day and we also need a bit of good fortune as well. If we keep our fingers crossed and we get all of that, then who knows what the outcome might be.'

Stoke City Team News:

John Carew is still a doubt after suffering back pains over the last few weeks and missed out on international duty with Norway as a result. Thomas Sorensen was another who failed to play for his national side during the break after suffering similar problems, but seems ok now and should be on the bench.

Player to watch: Asmir Begovic

Asmir is likely to be one of our most active players tomorrow with the Potters keen to keep their unbeaten home record for 2011 intact. He's saved our bacon on several occasions recently, most notably in that 1-1 draw against the Baggies at the end of February.

Chelsea Team News:

Kalou is a doubt after picking up a knock whilst with playing for the Ivory Coast. Yossi Benayoun made his comeback from a long-term Achilles injury in Israel's win over Georgia in midweek but is said to be unlikely to be risked at the Brit.

Player to watch: Fernando Torres

That 50m price tag is hanging very heavily around his neck at the moment - so we don't want the Brit to be the place for him to find the back of the net for the first time.

Match Facts & Stats

Ref Watch:

Peter Walton

Next Fixtures:

Saturday 9th April: Spurs (away) kick-off: 3pm
Sunday 17th April: Bolton (Wembley) kick-off: 4pm * live on ESPN


Writer:Chris Baldwin
Date:Friday April 1 2011
Time: 5:37PM

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