Chelsea vs Stoke City 04/05/2014 Free English Premier League Soccer Pick and Preview
Chelsea (21-6-5) Stoke City(10-10-12)
Saturday 5th April 17:30(GMT)
The Line: Chelsea 3/10 Draw 9/2 Stoke City 10/1 See the Latest Odds
TV: Sky Sports; NBC
Midweek mediocrity is what Mourhino used to describe his teams capitulation against PSG. The Chelsea boss was scathing in his criticism of his team's defending as they gave up three goals to a less than impressive Paris St Germaine side. Chelsea's struggles at the back though were only part of the problem, up front Chelsea were pretty abject. Eden Hazard and Oscar couldnt create anything and with Andre Schurrle playing through the center the ball seemed to bounch back rather than stickup front. Surely Mourhino must go with Torres or Eto in the return leg. Saturday could be an opportunity for Mourhino to play some squad players as the return quarter final is on Tuesday against PSG. I think though Mourhino knows that a loss or draw against Stoke will all but end his team's Premier League ambitions and that is his best chance of silverware this season. Mourhino will want to finish with Silverware.
Mark Hughes Stoke City side are the third best team in the league on teh form table having won four of their last five. Built on a really solid defence Stoke have been impressive of late and have now all but guaranteed their safety. With that said their great current form is mostly at home and Stoke have won only one of their last seven away games. Stoke's defence and tactics though has still been excellant in those games, as the team has conceded one goal in six of those seven games. Stephen Ireland, Johnaton Walters and Peter Odemwinie have been key players in Stoke's solid run.
A tough game here for Chelsea after an energy sapping game in Paris midweek. I think there is no value in taking Chelsea straight up here and I think the blues may struggle to break down a resolute Stoke City team. I am going to take the draw at halftime here as I think Stoke frustrate the home team for at least an hour of this game. Follow me on twitter@antonpippo