Chelsea travel to Stoke City on Saturday (7 November) with Jose Mourinho handed a stadium ban after being charged for his behaviour with referee Jon Moss in Chelsea's defeat at the hands of West Ham last month. The Portuguese manager challenged the charge but to no avail as the Champions look to bounce back from their 3-1 defeat at the hands of Liverpool last weekend.
Where to Watch
Kick-off is set for 5:30pm BST. Live coverage of the game will be on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD.
Stoke have a psychological advantage over Chelsea given they have got the better of the Blues in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup where they won on penalties at the Goodison Park. Jon Walters' strike in the beginning of the second half had all but secured the win in regulation time but Loic Remy equalised in the 91st minute to take the game into extra time and finally into a shootout.
However, their form in the Premier League this season has been far from great, with the Potters managing only three wins thus far and none in their last two games. They come into the fixture on the back of a 0-0 draw with Newcastle United where goalkeeper Jack Butland put in a world-class display to deny the Magpies, who were bearing down on goal with no respite. A win against Chelsea would put their campaign back on track and help them reach the heights they did in the beginning of their previous campaign.
Meanwhile, Chelsea's season has gone from bad to worse in the Premier League, currently 14 points behind league leaders Arsenal and Manchester City, with only 11 games gone in the campaign. Back to back losses against West Ham and Liverpool have all but put an end to their hopes of winning the league title yet again.
However, their season got a major boost when they managed to get the better of Dynamo Kiev in the group stages of the Champions League this midweek, with Willian putting in a world-class display to save the Blues the blushes. The nature of the win was far from what can be expected from defending champions and Mourinho's absence on the touchline will make it more difficult for the Blues to build on that result against Stoke.
What Managers Say
Mark Hughes: "Jose has had any number of run-ins with the authorities and maybe he is tired of arguing his case. It might impact negatively on the team but it might not. They might miss his influence at half-time, but it is always good to see Jose in the dugout and our fans enjoy it. We will see if it is a negative or a positive for them. I don't anticipate him sneaking in with a laundry basket again. I am not sure if it is for us or the FA to monitor him, because who is to know whether he will have a phone to his ear? Unless an FA official is sat on Jose's knee, I am not sure if anyone knows if he will be here.
Jose Mourinho: "[on stadium ban] I have no plans, maybe I sit in street corner with my iPad, I don't know. If I cannot contact with the game maybe I don't even watch the game. I can't contact with the game, so what's the point? Live score, results, maybe. If the first 10 minutes we are playing with seven men, they are not prepared for that, they have to decide themselves. The game isn't predictable, you don't know the direction but we can try to reduce that and that we did."
Betting Odds (888Sport)
- Stoke City Win: 3.8
- Draw: 3.3
- Chelsea Win: 2.0
Possible XI: Butland, Johnson, Shawcross, Wollscheid, Pieters, Whelan, Adam, Shaqiri, Bojan, Cameron, Walters
Possible XI: Begovic, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Matic, Fabregas, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, Costa