FT: Stoke 0 Chelsea 4

93
Hazard looking to play for the corner as the clock winds down on the hapless Walters and Stoke . For Chelsea, it's back to winning ways, but whether it will help Benitez win over the club's fans is the question.

92
Jerome looks to latch on to loose ball in the area, but the cover defence clears the danger.

91
Kightly trying to make a late impression with a decent run and cross from the right, but the replacement winger's delivery is just too deep and over Jerome.

90
And things go from bad to worse for Walters as he skies his spot-kick straight down the middle and over the crossbar.

89
Mariner points to spot for Stoke after Terry is adjudged to have tripped up Walters.

88
Cech making light work of a Hail Mary ball forward from the Potters to no one in particular.

87
With the game altogether done and dusted, Luiz is pushing up in attack more and more and trying to slot in where he can.

86
Matthew Etherington makes way for Stoke for Michael Kightly to get a run out in the dying stages of the match.

85
The home supporters have clearly seen enough as they head for the exits in their droves.

84
Easy does it for Chelsea as Cech directs traffic from the back and Terry eases his way back into the fold.

83
Azipilicueta departs for Paulo Ferreira to make his first appearance for the Blues since last season.

82
Whelan curls in a cross-cum-shot from the right that fails to trouble Cech.

81
The Potters on the ball but it's probably too little, too late.

80
As the match enters the final ten minutes, the pace has significantly slowed.

79
Adam and Jones come off for Dean Whitehead and Cameron Jerome respectively, while the travelling fans break into song at the arrival of John Terry for Mata.

78
A lot of movement on the touchlines as both sets of managers look to make changes.

77
No trouble from Stoke's front line now as Pulis's attackers look out on their feet and out of ideas.

76
Chelsea passing the ball around the middle of the park and forcing Stoke to chase shadows.

75
Blues look in full control of the match with every touch of ball of simple ease and composure.

74
Adam with a left-footed effort on goal from the right that Cech ushers out of touch, though it was pretty close to top corner.

73
An absolute stunner from Hazard from outside the box, the Belgian taking the ball on his left and then unleashing a thunderbolt into the top left corner.

72
Cech makes a troubling cross into his box from the left look like an routine gather.

71
Torres takes to pitch in place of Ba.

70
All the action been played in and around Stoke's 18-yard area with the Blues attackers looking hungry for more.

69
Potters having to do all they can to keep a determined Chelsea at bay, Fernando Torres ominously warming up on the sidelines.

68
Begovic having to make another stop after long-range shot from Hazard, Lampard almost pouncing on the rebound.

67
Chelsea with all the momentum as they push up in earnest, Lampard leading the charge.

66
Wind definitely looks to have taken out of the Potters' sails now, most of the players downcast.

65
Straight down the middle from Lampard as the Blues take a comfortable 3-0 advantage.

64
Lampard's long ball into the box for Mata earns the Blues a penalty after the latter is illegally bundled to the ground by Huth.

63
Potters rocked by putting themselves behind for a second time in the match, look weak on attack now.

62
Walters, again, heads the ball in at the wrong end of the pitch from a Chelsea set-piece: 2-0 to the visitors.

61
Chelsea earn themselves a corner-kick after Hazard and Lampard make nuisance of themselves on attack.

60
Hazard taking play up field for the Blues with Lampard in support.

59
Potters pushing up strongly now as they maybe feel they were done a disservice in the box after Azipilicueta clearly hand-balled inside the box, the offside call saving him.

58
Controversial moment as referee Andre Mariner points to the penalty spot for the Potters, but then waves play on after getting the signal from his touch official.

57
Luiz goes into the book for a high boot challenge on Ryan Shawcross.

56
Luiz does well to head a pass at the near post for Jones into touch.

55
Blues withstand the Potters' barrage from corner-kick and push the home side back temporarily.

54
Steven N'Zonzi with a powerful strike from the right-edge of the box that draws a fine leaping save from Cech.

53
Chelsea with more of the ball in the early stages of the half and look far more comfortable going forward than in the first period.

52
Cole with a great shot on the half-volley on Begovic's near post after Ramires' great ball from the right, the Potters shot-stopper making another fine reflex save.

51
Walters with a good run down the left before firing in his shot on Cech but had it gone in i wouldn't have counted as the Northern Irishman was offside.

50
Untidy challenge from Robert Huth on Hazard results in the Blues man taking another heavy knock and tumble to the turf.

49
Luiz does well to outjump Jones inside the penalty area after long cross from the left was intended for the Potters ace.

48
Poor cross from Adam as the midfielder blows a decent attacking thrust from the potters.

47
The Blues moving forward trough Bertrand with Mata looking to provide the telling ball for his team-mates.

46
The second half is underway!

Stoke are now a massive 16/1 to come away with the win but can still be backed for the draw at 4/1. Demba Ba looks dangerous, he's 9/2 favourite to score next ahead of Lampard and Mata at 8/1 with Sky Bet.

Chelsea fans are on a roller coaster at the moment. We either score loads (Villa 8-0, Leeds 5-1, Southampton 5-1) or get beaten (QPR 0-1, Swansea 0-2). An early goal against won't help today against a big strong Stoke outfit. And Luiz is in defence again! Not expecting too much, especially with Benitez's record at Stoke. Julian Catt

Ex Potter Edd Irwin here from Durban,South Africa. With Demba Ba having been rejected by Stoke he will be trying to prove a point and score a couple of goals. The team Pulis has put out is quite strong and being a good home side I'm going for 1-0 win for Stoke.

I think this game will be close, Stoke have a strong defence, I think with Ba's Premier League debut for Chelsea and Mata's great passing will give Chelsea the advantage - end result 3-1 to Chelsea, Ba with 2 and Hazard with the 3rd, Jones to get a consolation. Imran Ahmed

Greetings from Paris! Would like to see Demba Ba get the nod in front of Torres and Moses in front of Ramirez after his dismal performance v Swansea. Ivanovich to have a blinder and score a goal to make up for midweek, Ba to get the other one, 2-0 Chelski!! Cheers, Jason

Curious about Chelsea's formation... They were really good with Mata on the right, Hazard on the left, and Oscar in the middle. Why this then? Badman Bil

47
The Blues take the lead right before the break courtesy of a Walters own goal, the Potters hitman heading the ball into his own from Cesar Azpilicueta's cross from the right for Mata.

46
Chelsea looking to finish the first half strong as they take the ball up with purpose.

45
Blues earn themselves a long-range free-kick out in front of Stoke's goal, but Lampard's shot smashes straight into the wall.

44
Potters fail to make much of their late surge upfield, a long ball forward failing to find a home player.

43
Begovic gathers calmly from the latest set-piece whipped in from Hazard.

42
Wilkinson, again, with a poor challenge on Hazard: the Potters man needs to be careful as he is already on a yellow card for an earlier hit on the same player.

41
Glenn Whelan takes a pop on target but Cech gets behind the ball confidently to gather.

40
Cole fancies his chances on the volley from range, only to see his effort drift off to the left of goal and well into the stands.

39
Danger inside the box from Hazard's set-piece delivery is averted by Wilkinson's header.

38
Blues earn themselves a good free-kick out on the right after the Potters' hard men are blown up for another exuberant challenge.

37
It's all Chelsea at the moment as the west Londoners look to stamp their authority at the latter stages of the first stanza.

36
Almost a delicious pass into the box from Hazard for Lampard, but the Potters' defensive troops salvage the ball.

35
When on attack, the Blues do look more clinical and likely to score, but they are battling to remain in possession for lengthy periods at a time.

34
Lampard finds Ba out on the left with a great pass and the striker's shot draws a reflex stop from Begovic, Ramires' rebound effort fired wide of the mark.

33
Decent pass from the right for Cole to try and get on the end of, but the ball just has too much pace on it.

32
It's end-to-end stuff now as play switches from the Potters' box to the Blues' 18-yard area.

31
Chelsea with some attacking movement, but lose the ball just outside the box.

30
Potters look good going forward as Adam looks to feed Jones inside the box, but the cover defence is up to the task.

29
Andy Wilkinson careens into Hazard in a poor attempt to win the ball: the referee needs to get a handle on the sloppy challenges creeping into the match now.

28
Luiz with a strong down the middle of the park to then feed Ryan Bertrand out on the left, but the latter is dispossessed before he can get a chance to make much of his possession.

27
The home side now a bit on the back-foot as Benitez's charges look more confident over the halfway line on the ball.

26
Adam brings down Ramires inside the Blues' half of the pitch with the Potters looking regain possession going forward.

25
Frank Lampard's attempt on goal from excellent build-up play draws a fine save Begovic to deny the visitors an opening goal.

24
Blues with a rare foray into their opposition's half of the field: let's see what they can do with the opportunity.

23
Walters' attempted volley from the set-piece into the box cannons into Ramires and away from goal.

22
Ivanovic gives away a silly free-kick in a good area after he hauls Jones to the ground from behind.

21
Benitez barking instructions from the touchlines as his side are forced back into their half once more by a resilient Potters frontline.

20
Cech, once again, does well to gather inside the box but the goalkeeper is being kept far too busy for his liking.

19
Adam forces Ivanovic to hand the Potters another corner-kick after the Blues defender hacks a ball into the box out of bounds.

18
Cech does well to marshall his defence and repel the latest surge from the hosts, but all the action remains inside the visiting half of the pitch.

17
Pressure is building on Petr Cech's goal with the Potters earning themselves another corner-kick after the visitors were forced to absorb yet more forays.

16
Eden Hazard backtracks well to catch up with Adam on the break down the left, but the Belgian playmaker gives away an attacking fee-kick after a sloppy tackle on the Scot.

15
Walters, again, is blown up for contact with Luiz as the Potters frontman looked to latch on to a long ball form the back.

14
Mata's ball into the area for Ba from the right is easily dealt with by Asmir Begovic.

13
At the early stages of the match it's the home side with the ascendency and the lion's share of possession.

12
Branislav Ivanovic heads the ball in the box, but the Potters continue to press on attack.

11
Potters earn themselves their first corner of the match after the ball forward for Jones is cleared into touch.

10
Poor challenge on Walters in the air sees Luiz collapse in a heap, but the Blues centre-back was maybe making more of the contact than it was.

9
Ramires escapes a yellow card for a cynical clip from behind in midfield on Adam, who was looking to get away into space over the halfway line.

8
Jones with the first chance on goal for the match, his shot as he went to ground on the left just skimming wide of the far post.

7
Ashley Cole does well to deal with the Potters' first free-kick of the match, the England full-back heading the ball clear from the left.

6
Geoff Cameron with a long ball forward for Adam to chase but the ball bounces to far ahead and then out of touch.

5
Demba Ba looks to make run down the left flank and then drift into the box, but the cover defence dispossesses the Senegalese ace.

4
The Potters play the forward through Charlie Adam but the Blues' back-line stands their ground.

3
Juan Mata whips in the first corner-kick of the game but Kenwynne Jones rises high to head clear the danger.

2
Jon Walters putting the early pressure on David Luiz as the Brazilian has to work hard to retain possession.

1
The match is underway!

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.

Stoke have failed to score in six of their nine Premier League meetings with Chelsea, making the Blues to win to nil a decent bet at 9/4. However, Stoke are no mugs at home and Rafa Benitez will not have happy memories of this ground from his Liverpool days - Stoke are 29/10 to win the match but a safer option might be Stoke Draw-No-Bet at 7/4.

The Potters, 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 goalless draw with Crystal Palace in the FA Cup.

The Blues' shock 2-0 defeat to Swansea in a Capital One Cup semi-final first leg on Wednesday 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.

Good afternoon, I'm Devin Hermanus and I'll be taking you through all the action as Stoke City host Chelsea at the Britannia Stadium. 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 Wed, 17 Sep 2014

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