Live streaming match epl today stoke city vs Chelsea 18 march 2017.
MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES
Steve Bower: “Stoke have won this fixture in two of the last three seasons, but despite frustrating Manchester City last time out, they will have to go to another level against the current league leaders.
“Chelsea’s consistency is there to be admired by everyone. Eighteen wins and just one defeat from the last 21 Premier League games tells its own impressive story.
“Quite simply, they are title-winning statistics. However, Antonio Conte will not allow his team to take their foot off the pedal as he eyes a repeat of Carlo Ancelotti’s league and cup double.”
“Mark Hughes’ team have only lost twice in their last nine league games and will hope that the Chelsea machine isn’t quite as well oiled as it has been for the majority of this season.
WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY
Stoke manager Mark Hughes on the lack of job security: “We are all trying to develop clubs and players and to do that you need time – and unfortunately a lot of managers aren’t getting that.
“This is my fourth season and it’s the exception to the rule. It’s getting more and more difficult, I would say.
“Sometimes players have a direct line to owners and that can be dangerous. Should you be asking players who are disenfranchised with the manager?
“We have got an ownership here who are very close to the players and will engage and interact with them, but that direct line isn’t there and that is correct.”
Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte on the potential of one of his squad being named player of the season: “I hope that, at the end of the season, one of my players could be.
“It would mean we’ve won the league and, for me, it would be a great satisfaction to have one of my players winning this award.
“Until now it’s important to be concentrated on the league and try and play game by game, to be focused. They are important but, if you don’t win, they are not important.”
Stoke showed with their 0-0 draw at Manchester City in their last game that they are capable of digging in against the top teams, but I don’t see them holding out against Chelsea.
This is another hurdle for the Blues in their title bid, but I think it is one they will clear comfortably.
- Chelsea have only won two of their last seven games away to Stoke in all competitions.
- However, the Potters have managed just two victories in 17 Premier League meetings (D3, L12).
- Stoke are unbeaten in eight league home games (W4, D4). It’s their best run since a 17-match streak in 2012, which ended with a 4-0 defeat by Chelsea.
- They have conceded just two Premier League penalties this season, both of which came in August. Chelsea are the only side with a better record, having given away one spot-kick.
- The Potters have kept three clean sheets in their last four league games.
- Stoke have won just one of their 12 previous games against teams who began the match top of the Premier League (D2, L9) – that was a victory against Manchester City in December 2015.
- All nine of Stoke’s league wins this season have come against teams currently ranked 12th or lower.
- The Blues have won 18 of their 20 Premier League matches this season against the teams currently outside the top five.
- Chelsea’s only defeat in their last 22 league and cup games came at Tottenham on 4 January (W19, D2).
- The Blues have kept just two clean sheets in their last nine league games – having recorded 10 shut-outs in the previous 12 matches.
- Chelsea have used the fewest players (21) and made the fewest changes to their starting line-up (24) this season in the Premier League.
- Diego Costa’s next Premier League goal will be his 50th in the competition.
- Costa has scored in 54% of his Premier League games (43 of 79), more than any other player to feature in at least 20 matches