Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton are joined by former Blue Clive Walker to provide the second instalment of their information collection regarding this afternoon's fixture….
Chelsea need to return to winning ways. Former Blues winger Clive Walker considers where the game against Stoke will be won or lost.
'It's not a great surprise to me that we have had two upsets - QPR and Swansea - at home rather than away. Teams think they have worked out a way of nullifying us and it's easier to execute the plan when they're not in front of their own fans.
'Chelsea need to rediscover the means to break down teams that sling everyone behind the ball. What's perhaps disappointing is those two sides got what they wanted from the game without really pressing us very much. We had time on the ball but are not using it quite as well at home.
'Swansea set themselves up to say to us "break us down." Previously we've had such a great record at home that opponents were looking at it and were daunted. But a draw is always a great result away to Chelsea.
'It's different for opposing teams playing at home - they are expected by their fans to create and score and win. The players we have now are excellent at that counter attacking when sides come on to us, and that's why we are faring so well on our travels.
'Stoke have a lot of big, powerful men who are not so comfortable handling swift interplay. If we can reinstigate the one-touch football we will undo any team.
'Stoke's fans are very loud and helpful to their team but they demand the players get stuck into the opposition's faces - if we can keep our nerve that will help us as they are not the fastest at recovering their defensive positions from an attack. You can imagine Eden Hazard really testing them in that respect. It's a shame Victor Moses isn't around too.
'People talk about Tony Pulis's side playing more football but they still like to get the ball wide and fire it into the mixer - that's where they score all their goals, close range. Jonathan Walters is their top scorer, he has had the most shots for them and is their most fouled player.
'If they play Walters one side, Matthew Etherington the other with Kenwyne Jones or Peter Crouch upfront you know what their plan is. They are going to knock balls into the box and against Stoke you always have to win that battle to earn a result. Ross Turnbull will be under a lot of pressure and he will have to prove himself.
'Ryan Shotton is their new long throw expert - that is another battle you have to fight in order to win the war.
'John Terry played 45 minutes for the Under-21s and may play some part at the Britannia. It's the sort of game in which a fully fit JT is priceless - he relishes the scrap.
'An advantage smaller players often have over bigger ones is speed of foot. The nimbleness of the likes of Hazard and Oscar is something Stoke's backline will not be so comfortable dealing with.
'When I was older and playing in non-league football I would come up against some hulking players who might not be as swift of thought but I knew if they caught me I would be kicked up in the air and it would hurt.
'It's about being mentally sharp, knowing what you're going to do with the ball before it comes and whisking it away before they can take you out: don't hang around, keep moving!
'Chelsea have to be brave, strong and sharp. Everything they do: first touches, passes, shots - brisk and accurate.
'Demba Ba could make his league debut. He impressed at Southampton and in the cameo at the end of Swansea he fashioned four chances in 10 minutes.
'He's hit four goals in four games against Stoke. When you have that sign over a side you go into the game head high. Your preparation leading up to it is fabulous. You can't wait to get to the game and onto the pitch. You're a few inches taller than you usually are knowing this is a team that finds you a difficult customer.
'Stoke's defenders will know his record and in any case he is a handful, he's unorthodox and gives us very different options. He will fancy his chances against them even though they're unbeaten at home this season.
Stoke have no new injury concerns. Defender Marc Wilson (broken leg) and midfielder Rory Delap (hernia) are long-term casualties.
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West Ham away was the only occasion this season (of 12) Chelsea have opened the scoring in the Premier League and gone on to lose the game.
Only Stoke, with nine, have kept more Barclays Premier League clean sheets than Chelsea's eight.
The Blues are 10 points better off compared to the corresponding 20 fixtures last season.
We have gained 12 points from losing positions this term.
|Last six results|
|Dec 23||Aston Villa (h)||W 8-0|
|Dec 26||Norwich (a)||W 1-0|
|Dec 30||Everton (a)||W 2-1|
|Jan 2||QPR (h)||L 0-1|
|Jan 5||Southampton (FA Cup 3rd round a)||W 5-1|
|Jan 9||Swansea (League Cup semi-final 1st leg h)||L 0-2|
Premier League scorers
Mata 7, Torres 7, Lampard 6 (2 pens), E Hazard 4 (1 pen), Ivanovic 4, Ramires 3, Cahill 2, Cole 1, D Luiz 1, Moses 1, Oscar 1, Sturridge 1, Terry 1. Total 39
League games since
An away win: 0
An away draw: 5
An away defeat: 3
|Chelsea's next three games|
|Sat 12 Jan||Stoke away||3pm|
|Wed 16 Jan||Southampton home||7.45pm|
|Wed 23 Jan||Swansea (League Cup SF 2nd leg) away||7.45pm|
1 League Cup in 1972
Stoke have the longest home unbeaten run in the Premier League - 17 games stretching back to February last year when Sunderland were the victors by the only goal.
Stoke have the tightest home defence record conceding only seven goals in 10 matches. Three of those came in their last outing at the Britannia against Southampton.
The Potters are only top-flight club to remain undefeated at home this season. They have beaten Swansea, QPR, Fulham, Newcastle and Liverpool and drawn with Arsenal, Manchester City, Sunderland, Everton and Southampton.
Only Aston Villa and QPR have scored fewer Premier League goals than Stoke's 21. They have failed to score in eight of their 21 matches including three of their last six.
Stoke have suffered only one defeat in their last 12 in all competitions - to Manchester City on New Years Day.
Tony Pulis is the fourth longest serving manager in the Premier League.
Manager Tony Pulis
Days in charge: 2,403
|Potters' last 10 year league history|
|2002/03||50||21st||League Division One||2|
|2003/04||66||11th||League Division One||2|
Stoke's best seasons in the top flight were in 1935/36 and 1946/47 when they finished fourth. The Potters last and only major trophy was the League Cup in 1972 when as underdogs; they defeated Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley.
|Last six results|
|Dec 15||Everton (h)||D 1-1|
|Dec 22||Tottenham (a)||D 0-0|
|Dec 26||Liverpool (h)||W 3-1|
|Dec 29||Southampton (h)||D 3-3|
|Jan 1||Manchester City (a)||L 0-3|
|Jan 5||Crystal Palace (FA Cup 3rd round a)||D 0-0|
2012/13 Premier League scorers
Walters 5 (1 pen), Crouch 4, Jones 3, Adam 2, Jerome 2, Kightly 2, Upson 1, Whitehead 1, own goals 1. Total 21.
League games since
A home win: 1
A home draw: 0
A home defeat: 17
Completed January transfers
Ins Demba Ba (Newcastle, undisclosed)
Outs Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool, undisclosed), Todd Kane (Blackburn, loan), Billy Clifford (Colchester, loan)
Outs Danny Higginbotham (Sheffield United, free), Michael Tonge (Leeds, undisclosed).
THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Andre Marriner is refereeing his third Blues match this season having previously been the official at Leeds in the League Cup and the Premier League game at Loftus Road.
There are no suspensions.