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Stoke v Chelsea

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Benitez: Under scrutiny

Benitez: Under scrutiny

Chelsea face Stoke City in a Premier League match at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday in what should be a gruelling test for the European champions.

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The Blues' shock 2-0 defeat to Swansea in a Capital One Cup semi-final first leg put the spotlight back on interim manager Rafa Benitez who may have thought he was starting to win the Stamford Bridge fans over, despite their narrow 1-0 loss to QPR in their last Premier League clash.

A number of high-scoring wins saw Chelsea keep pace with the top three teams and heading into the weekend's tie, they currently occupy fourth place with 38 points, one point off of Spurs in third.

Stoke, in 10th with 29 points, boast the third best defence in the league, but come into this tie on the back of a 3-0 loss to Manchester City, that preceded a 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace in the FA Cup.

Chelsea will be without John Mikel Obi and Victor Moses who are with Nigeria on Africa Cup of Nations duty, while this match comes too soon for John Terry despite the defender having come through a U21 clash on Thursday.

Oriol Romeu and Yossi Benayoun (both knee) remain sidelined but Benitez will make a late decision on Petr Cech who has been nursing a groin complaint.

Potters boss Tony Pulis has no new injury concerns with just Marc Wilson (broken leg) and Rory Delap (hernia) sidelined.

Posted: 11/01/13 19:52

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