Author: Darren Moore
Published: 12:24 25/12/2016
At the time of writing, Chelsea’s winning streak is still intact. They’re on an eleven game streak and we fully expect the Blues to ruthlessly scalp Eddie Howe’s golden mane when Bournemouth visit Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day. It’s gonna be a Boxing Day Bash rather than a Boxing Day Clash, you feel me? Okay, stop feeling me so I can get on with the preview. Hands to yourself.
Stoke were two goals up against ten-man Leicester when they threw away a very winnable fixture. It could be their last chance to win for a while with trips to Anfield and Stamford Bridge on the cards. Worse still, Chelsea will be back to full strength after giving extra time off to star pupils Diego Costa and N’Golo Kante. They’re two of the standout players of the season. Gulp.
Costa is the Premier League’s top scorer with 13 goals and is favourite to clean up when individual award season comes around. His all-round game has been outstanding. The strength he shows on the ball, his first touch, his hold-up play, his finishing have all been brilliant.
And what can we say about the Kante triplets? They’ve been bossing top flight midfields for nearly two years. More of the same to cap off a terrific 2016 for them, methinks.
Having said that, Stoke’s record away from home is decent. They’ve only lost one of their last five games on the road. That includes wins at Hull and Watford and draws at West Ham and Manchester United. But are they capable of stopping Conte’s juggernaut?
Chelsea predicted XI: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Moses, Alonso, Fabregas, Kante, Pedro, Hazard, Costa
Stoke predicted XI: Grant, Pieters, Johnson, Muniesa, Martins Indi, Whelan, Allen, Shaqiri, Imbula, Arnautović, Diouf
Tip: Chelsea/Chelsea @ 10/11 with Coral