Stoke City vs. Chelsea, Premier League

Sunday Premier League Preview

Sunday Premier League Preview

That said, Stoke did field a much-changed line-up and their impressive home record will give them every bit of confidence of getting a result against Chelsea. Whether they have the quality to match their determination remains to be seen, especially considering their best player of recent weeks will be missing due to the terms of his loan deal.

23-year-old left back Benjamin Mendy was one of this season's most expensive acquisitions, with a £52 million deal bringing him to Manchester City for the next five years after little more than a year with Monaco. Hughes will know that it will be a tough test against the champions but if their star players can find some form on the day then they could snatch a draw.

Fellow centre-back Kurt Zouma is ineligible to play against his parent club, while both Geoff Cameron and Ryan Shawcross remained sidelined.

The Stoke manager, whose side face Chelsea on Saturday, said: 'I think they've got more sendings-off in the opening five games as in the whole of previous year. "Liverpool could have been a challenge but they went a man down and it made it easier".

The Stoke boss lamented Costa's departure as "a real shame" and admits he will miss the striker's combative presence in the Premier League.

A night of good news for Chelsea was headlined by the safe return of Eden Hazard and a hat-trick from young striker Michy Batshuayi.

Hughes will be relieved his makeshift defence does not have to contend with Diego Costa, who arrived in Spain on Friday to complete his impending move to Atletico Madrid.

David Luiz is suspended following his red card against Arsenal last week.

This has the making to be a fascinating game and one in which both teams will fancy their chances. Having shown a lack of inspiration throughout the team which has seen them gift wins to Everton and Newcastle on the road, they have risen to the title of valiant underdogs in taking four points at home from Arsenal and Manchester United. Having said that, Chelsea look great away from home and will want to keep the pressure on the league leaders.

In a match which Conte will realise his team were lucky to take a point from, Arsenal will re-enforce the need for his players to continue improving.

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