By earning a point resilient Stoke City can hurt Chelsea again

Stoke City’s League Cup victory over Chelsea proves they have the defensive solidity to deal with the struggling Blues.

Jose Mourinho’s side fired in 18 shots in that game, eight of those on target, had 58 percent possession and took 11 corners.

Despite this dominance, they only managed to score in the 91st minute taking the game to extra time.

The Londoners must have thought they would take the match from there, especially after Phil Bardsley was sent off after 93 minutes.
However, Mark Hughes’ team remained resilient taking the game on penalties.

This ability to frustrate Chelsea will work in Stoke’s favour with the 23/10 price on a draw looking a decent shout.

It’s not entirely out of the question that the Midlanders could go on to nick the game, and the 9/1 odds of a 1-0 win in their favour is an option for those looking for bigger earnings.

The Potters defensive strength was on display through October, where they only conceded three goals in five games across all competitions.

That spell also included three clean sheets, with Jack Butland building on his penalty heroics to start fulfilling his potential.

Chelsea’s attacking failings throughout the season could also give Hughes hope of guiding his team to another clean sheet.

Across all competitions, the Blues’ top scorer is Willian with five, only one ahead of own goals due to his strike against Dynamo Kiev in Europe.

The Brazilian is one of only three Chelsea players to score more than once in the league, with Diego Costa and Ramires completing the list.

Conversely, the Potters can boast four players to find the net on at least two occasions, Bojan, Marko Arnautovic, Mame Biram Diouf and Jonathan Walters all doing a better job in front of goal than the majority of Mourinho’s squad.

Diouf, in particular, has looked impressive, scoring three in seven, and his tally would be more if he hadn’t missed games due to compassionate leave.

The Senegalese striker opened the scoring against Norwich earlier in the season and this, coupled with his form, makes him a good choice to score first at 7/1 for Ladbrokes’ *Sharp Shooter promotion.

However, if, like many in Stamford Bridge, you still have faith in Jose Mourinho, then it may be worth making use of the following promotion:

Diego Costa to score and Chelsea to win WAS 9/4 NOW 11/4

*Sharp Shooter terms and conditions

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Dan Ross

After a brief stint as a commentator, Dan took his passion for football into writing and went on to gain an NCTJ in sports journalism. A lifelong Walsall fan, he's followed the Saddlers through the highs, getting to Wembley for the first time ever last season, and the lows, namely relegation to League Two in 2006.