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Out of sorts Chelsea will look to get their title charge back on track when they welcome Stoke to fortress Stamford Bridge later today.
Jose Mourinho’s quest to win the Premier League and Champions League in his first season back at the club is tethering on the brink after key defeats in a week.
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The Blues relinquished top spot to Liverpool last weekend when they lost 1-0 away to Crystal Palace, with their woes compounded by a 3-1 defeat to PSG midweek in the quarter-final of the Champions league.
Mourinho has mentioned on a number of occasions this season that his side are not ready to win the title and it would appear that the message has now filtered through to the players.
Recently the Chelsea players have looked tired and with the title destination now out of their control Mourinho will need to use all of his managerial know-how to lift morale and prepare his side for any potential slip ups by Liverpool and Manchester City.
Most of Chelsea’s woes in recent weeks have come on the road so they welcome the chance to play at Stamford Bridge, the fortress that has helped the club to 44 points this season.
The club lost to Stoke 3-2 at the Britannia earlier in the season but avenged that particular defeat when they knocked the Potters out of the FA Cup. Points and a confidence boosting win as opposed to revenge will be the order of the day on Saturday.
Chelsea will be without the suspended Ramires for the game while Samuel Eto’o and Ashley Cole will be assessed in the build up to ascertain if they ready to return to the squad.
Stoke meanwhile have a poor record in London against the Blues, losing their last seven games at Stamford Bridge and failing to score in their last six visits but they will head to the Bridge in good form with four wins and a draw in their last five games.
That run has lifted the club to 10th in the table and onto the magical 40 point mark all but ensuring their place in the Premier League next season.
Mark Hughes’ men will head into the game without Robert Huth and Oussama Assaidi, both of whom are struggling with knee injuries.