FT: Chelsea 0 Stoke 0

94
And it should be all over with Cole's late strike the likely decider in a tight contest in west London.

93
The match is getting a bit scrappy now as the both sets of players go in for silly challenges and exchange words.

92
The clock is ticking on the Potters hopes of salvaging someinthg from this encounter, but it is the Blues who already look a buoyant bunch.

91
Luiz goes into the book for a poor two-footed late tackle on Walters that causes abit of unecessary pushing and shoving among the players from both sides.

90
The Blues continue to press as the match enters four minutes of added time.

89
Terry a late an unfamilar replacement, coming on for Mata.

88
All the pressure coming from the Blues now as a sense of relief floods over Di Matteo and the home fans.

87
The Blues on the break as the ball is moved swiftly to the left for Moses cracking on the pace, only for the replacement to be brought down on the edge of the box before he is able to get his shot off.

86
Despite going a goal behind, the Potters still look dangerous on attack as Etherington steps up to take another corner-kick, but no luck on the equaliser from the set-piece.

85
Cole pops up in the number nine position to dink in Mata's pop into the 18-yard area.

84
Etherington a real livewire on attack as he makes another dash down the left flank and looking to feed a team-mate in a scoring position.

83
Etherington delivers a decent corner-kick from the left for a soaring Jones, but it's Huth who kills the move having been penalised for a shove in the box.

82
Some frustrated Blues supporters have clearly seen enough and making their way out of the stadium.

81
Lampard takes to the field in place of Mikel.

80
The Potters come again, this time through Owen and Jones, but both the replacement forwards' attempts don't bulge the back of the net.

79
Etherington, again, this time with an attempted shot on the volley on a loose ball on the edge of the Blues' box.

78
Etherington looks to make his presence felt with a run down the left, but he is easily shepherded into the corner by Ivanovic.

77
A great break down the right from Ramires sees the Brazilian drift in towards goal but his shot is half-blocked and Begovic is alert to gather the rebound.

76
The 11th corner-kick for the Blues is easily plucked out the air by Begovic.

75
Kenwynne Jones makes his first appearance of the new season, Crouch making way for the Potters substitute.

74
The Blues come again, this time with Oscar looking to tee up Torres, but the ball is poked out from under the striker's feet and the latest threat is averted.

73
Mata almost threads the ball through cleanly for Oscar inside the box, the Brazilian goes down again, but this time in frustration at a missed chance.

72
Kightly comes off for Matthew Etherington.

71
Crouch, Kightly and Whelan combine going forward for the Potters with the latter's eventual shot soaring high of the crossbar.

70
Ramires feeds compatriot Oscar, whose shot from the edge of the box skids just wide of Begovic and his near post.

69
Ivanovic's diagonal ball for Cole on the left is cut off as the Blues seem to try the unexpected to break the deadlock.

68
The Potters manage to clear their lines as the Blues barrage continues.

67
Oscar, on the edge of the area, draws a fine low save to his right from Begovic.

66
The Blues come again from the back and it goes the way as it has for much of the game; great work getting to the box but just not getting the killer blow.

65
Mata's close-range chance is smothered by Begovic as the Blues bumble another scoring effort inside the box.

64
Adam comes off for former England striker Michael Owen.

63
Ivanovic goes down on the edge of the box after a great ball forward from the back, but the referee claims Kightly's challenge on the Blues defender is legitimate.

62
Hazard comes off for Victor Moses to make his home debut.

61
Tony Pulis's men on the charge with Adam leading the fast-break, but the Scotland international opts to shoot when he had men on his inside and will rue the missed opportunity.

60
The Potters with a half-chance out on the right with Walters' sneaky shot just drifting wide of Cech at the near post.

59
Oscar breaks away upfield and feeds Mata on his left, but the Spanish midfielder fails to deliver a decent ball into the box for gathering team-mates.

58
Hazard goes forward and looks for Oscar inside the area, but plays the ball just behind his team-mate.

57
Crouch tries his luck from out on thr right from a tough angle, and to no surprise misses goal by some margin.

56
Sloppy defence from Ryan Shawcross gifts the hosts another corner-kick, but again the Blues don't convert from the set-piece.

55
The Blues struggling to turn their forays upfield into a decent chance on goal, their passes a little too long and failing to find the intended recipient.

54
Luiz does enough to put off Crouch has the Potters ace rises for a corner-kick.

53
Begovic comes out to deny Torres as the Blues striker chases a long ball forward.

52
A comedy of errors as several Blues attackers fluff a goalscoring chance inside the box, the worst from Mata as he effort from the right is off target.

51
Maybe in response to booking, Oscar unleashes a venomous low drive from out in from that draws a low save to his right by Begovic.

50
Oscar, again, goes on the run and is brought down on the edge of the box, but this time the referee books the Blues midfielder for diving.

49
Oscar goes down under the challenge of Geoff Cameron just outside the area but the referee waves play on when the set-piece should've been given.

48
The Blues back in possession but aren't looking as confident with the ball at their feet as they did in the opening stanza.

47
The Potters looking to start the second period with more of the ball than had in the first, and aren't giving it away easily either.

46
Stoke get the second half under way!

although being a chelsea fan, i have to say that i believe it will probably be a 0-0 un-less robbie changes it around.I think he is playing torres on his own to many times and mikel is a waste on the filed. Lampard and Moses on and we may have a karger chance of netting a few.Luca Di Niro

Chelsea will need to convert their possession dominance into goals in these sorts of games if they want to win the league. Stoke have been quite happy to camp in their own half so far and why not? It's worked for them and frustrated the likes of Torres, Mata and Hazard. Think di Matteo should consider bringing on Moses to inject them with some pace. Gabriel Sutton

As a massive chelsea fan I really don't know where the goals are going to come from, torres isn't providing anything again and everyone seems to be diving in the box. We need to see lampard and moses and bertrand in the second half to add some defensive tactics to our team before we get hit on the break like we did againt juve. Oscar looking good but lacking that vital goal. Come on chelsea. Paul Carruthers

Hi, I think chelsea will win but I'm worried about stoke in the air without JT we might not be organised enough from set pieces and long throws. I'll go chelsea 2-1 mata and torres. Terry Sandwell

46
As the linesman signals one minute of added time, Luiz fires from distance clearly in frustration and which doesn't threaten Asmir Begovic at the least.

45
After another Blues corner-kick fails, Coles lets rip from distance which is way off target.

44
Ivanovic, again, proving a handful down the right and muscles his way into the box; he tries to shoot from a tight angle and it's cleared way.

43
Oscar and Hazard just getting too cute for themselves on the ball and give it away on the attack for the

42
Torres running hard and chasing everything belted forward for him to chase; he's eager, we can give him that.

41
The Blues all over the Potters' back four with Cole, Hazard, Mata and Oscar all with half-chances to crack the defence wide open.

40
Torres, again, in the area but he goes for the pass instead of the shot and the movement comes to nought.

39
The Blues with a chance inside the box for Torres, again, but Potters bundled the ball away from the hitman.

38
Kightly with a shot from close-range that draws a fine low save from Cech, with Cahill alert to the danger and hacks the rebound away before Walters can pounce.

37
Kightly trying to make something happen down the left, but the winger's efforts come to nought as he surrounded by defenders.

36
Huth's bolter from range lacks direction and the Potters attack fail to capitalise on the loose ball.

35
The Potters work their way into the Blues' half and earns themselves a set-piece well within Huth's range from distance.

34
Some great footwork form Oscar in the middle of the park leaves Robert Huth wrong-footed, but the German defender cynically pulls the young attacker back.

33
The Blues trying to consolidate their possession with slow build-up play from the back.

32
Hazard breaks away and gets himself into a good position to shoot inside the 18-yard area, only for his shot to drift past the far post.

31
The Potters inside the Blues' half and aim to make it count but crosses into the box for Wlaters and Crouch are a touch to high and no real threat to Cech.

30
Even without the ball, the hosts look dangerous as they hurry their opposite numbers on the ball.

29
Luiz tries his luck from the dead ball but it sails wide of goal.

28
Another attacking set-piece for the Blues on the right that brings together all the players to decide the best strategy.

27
Kightly for Walters on the overlap but the Blues cover defence does well to quell the brief threat.

26
Brilliant ball from Mata for Torres into the box which the Spain striker fails to put into the back of the net when he really should've scored.

25
The Blues dominating the ball, but there's a sense of frustration around Stamford Bridge as they can't convert their dominance into goals.

24
Oscar and Hazard take the play swiftly upfield and look to create something form the left, with the ball eventually falling for Mata, but his shot is blocked.

23
Charlie Adam goes into the book for a sloppy challenge on Ramires.

23
Ivanovic goes to ground inside the area but the referee waves play on.

22
Another corner-kick for the Blues that allows Torres a chance to rise and get his head to the ball, but the Potters defence smothers him and makes sure his effort lacks any real power or direction.

21
Long ball forward for Walters but the pace of the pass takes it safely into Cech's hands.

20
The Blues slowing the pace down a tad as they look to build from the back.

19
Foul by Cole on Walters gifts the Potters a rare attacking opportunity from a free-kick, but the striker's header from the resulting set-piece sails over the bar.

18
Ashley Cole makes a surge upfield and indulges in a shot from range that sails wide of goal.

17
It's been one-way traffic for the home side but the opening goal continues to allude them.

16
Mikel tries to link up with Oscar on the left, but the ball is once again cleared into touch by the Potters.

15
Oscar gets the home fans excited with a short burst towards goal, but the Brazil starlet is cut down before he can really get going and into the box.

14
Potters battling to gain any lengthy passages of time on the ball, although they are looking to play the ball forward more towards Peter Crouch.

13
The visitors under pressure as Di Matteo's men keep stringing the attacking phases together.

12
The Blues back in their opponents half and with a corner, Hazard's delivery finding Luiz inside the area but his effort is cleared.

11
The Potters make some headway down the right wing as Jon Walters tries to deliver the ball into the box for a team-mate but Luiz heads it clear.

10
Ivanovic finds himself inside the box trying to latch on to a lob into the area, but the ball just bounces away from him into touch at the near post.

9
The hosts come again on attack, but Mata is brought down out on the right by Marc Wilson. The refree waves play as the Blues playmaker complains.

8
The Blues looking good on the ball as they maintain a lion's share of possession.

7
Torres with a header over the cross-bar from a decent Mata corner-kick from the right.

6
Hazard earns his side a set-piece from a good attacking area out on the left, but his delivery is cleared from the danger area.

5
Torres looks to make a run into the Potters box as the Blues continue to press early on.

4
Michael Kightly looking good for the visitors going forward with their first shot of the game from outside the box, which is deflected out for an unsuccessful corner-kick.

3
The Potters struggling to clear their lines as Ramires and Eden Hazard look to attack the central defence with determination.

2
Branislav Ivanovic doing well down the right flank early on, but his cross is put out for a corner. Stoke clear the danger, but the Blues come back at them for another corner-kick, which is also unsuccessful.

1
The match is under way!

I think It will be a great game and I think chelsea will win 2-0 and I have heard oscar is playing witch is great news for chelsea because he is a great player who scored 2 goals against Juventus witch were really good goals I don't know about torres I think its his time to shine now get a goal today that will make him more confident infront of goal, Hazard has been a quality player since joining chelsea good signing there and hopefully we will see abit of moses and the new right back for chelsea can't spell his name sorry so COME ON YOU BLUES. Jordan Lester

3-1 chelsea, mata x2 and sturridge today, suprised moses or even cesar not starting today, wonder when theyre going to get a debut start... anyway COYB

Plenty of attacking talent on the pitch and the bench for Chelsea, however Mikel does worry me. I would like to see Romeu given a chance to shine. Stoke will be hard to break down but with Hazard, Mata, Torres and Oscar there's potential for goals goals goals! Steven Hemington

Hello, I'm going for a 5-0 win for chelsea today with mata, luiz and a torres hat-trick to get his season up and running. Bit wary about not having lampard on the field but I'm sure di matteo knows what his doing. Up the chelsea!! Paul Carruthers

I get a feeling this game could be a true test of Chelsea's title credentials if they're goalless going into the second half. They've got players in their team like Torres, Mata, Hazard and maybe Oscar that can be breathtaking to watch when things are going their way but lack that bit of tenacity to score a goal when things get tight- it'll be important that Chelsea get going early to put the midweek disappointment against Juventus behind them. Stoke, as ever, will be a tough side to play against and they once again proved against City last week that they are capable competing with the best, but to do it away from home might be a Bridge too far! 2-0 Chelsea. Gabriel Sutton

Feel free to e-mail your thoughts or predictions to devin.hermanus@teamtalkmedia.com and we'll publish as many of them before - and during - the game as possible.

For Stoke, defender Andy Wilkinson misses out for the next three matches after accepting a charge of violent conduct following his clash with Manchester City's Mario Balotelli last weekend.

Oscar, who scored both goals against Juve before limping off injured in the second half, is fit to conitnue and retains his place in the starting line-up for the Blues. Lampard and John Terry, however, start on the bench. Petr Cech captains the side, with David Luiz and Gary Cahill in central defence. Di Matteo otherwise has no new suspension or injury concerns to deal with, and has stuck with Fernando Torres up front, who has been unable to carry his impressive late form last season over into this.

Stoke are rated at 15/2 to beat Chelsea today according to our friends at Sky Bet, while it is 19/5 for the match to end in a draw. Frank Lampard is 5/1 to score first, while Fernando Torres is 16/1 to score a hat-trick. Also, the Blues are 9/1 to win the Premier League title, with the Red Devils coming in second.

The Potters, meanwhile, have drawn all four of their opening league ties, with Tony Pulis' men sitting down in 12th place, although two of those stalemates were against defending champions Manchester City and high flying Arsenal.

Roberto Di Matteo's men did, however, concede a two-goal lead in their UEFA Champions League opener against Juventus this week, with the Old Lady earning a valuable 2-2 draw in west London.

Table-toppers Blues have hit the ground running this season and are undefeated after four games, winning three and drawing one to sit one point clear of second-placed Manchester United.

Good afternoon, I'm Devin Hermanus and I'll be taking you through all the action as Chelsea host Stoke at Stamford Bridge. Kick-off is scheduled for 1500 BST.

Premier League Fixtures

Saturday, 20 September 2014
12:45
QPR v Stoke
15:00
A Villa v Arsenal
Burnley v Sunderland
Newcastle v Hull City
Swansea v Southampton
17:30
West Ham v Liverpool
Sunday, 21 September 2014
13:30
Leicester v Man Utd
Tottenham v West Brom
16:00
Everton v C Palace
Man City v Chelsea
Saturday, 27 September 2014
12:45
Liverpool v Everton  
15:00
Chelsea v A Villa  

Barclays Premier League

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 4 9 12
2 A Villa 4 3 10
3 Swansea 4 3 9
4 Southampton 4 5 7
5 Man City 4 3 7
6 Tottenham 4 2 7
7 Arsenal 4 1 6
8 Liverpool 4 1 6
9 Man Utd 4 3 5
10 Hull City 4 0 5
11 Everton 4 -1 5
12 Leicester 4 -1 5
13 West Ham 4 -1 4
14 Stoke 4 -1 4
15 Sunderland 4 -1 3
16 QPR 4 -8 3
17 C Palace 4 -3 2
18 Burnley 4 -3 2
19 West Brom 4 -5 2
20 Newcastle 4 -6 2

Updated Thu, 18 Sep 2014

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