Stoke vs Chelsea: Villa-Boas’ team likely to come through tough test

The Britannia Stadium is a notoriously difficult place to travel but Chelsea have a great record there, and are yet to taste defeat in any of their Premier League visits.

Match Odds

New Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas won a clean sweep of trophies with Porto last season, but the task of reclaiming the Premier League trophy is a huge ask in the Portuguese manager’s first season in English football.

Chelsea usually start the season in blistering form – scoring 21 goals in their first five Premier League matches last season – which sees them 8/13 to win this encounter.

Much of the Blues’ season depends on Fernando Torres hitting top form and despite suffering concussion the Spaniard is set to be involved at some point, although David Luiz is set to miss out.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis has been busy this summer bringing Premier League experience to his back four with the signings of Jonathan Woodgate and Matthew Upson, although Upson is set to miss out.

The Potters’ season is already up and running and following some good performances in Europe many punters are backing them to shine this season, with Pulis’ side 9/2 to kick off this campaign with a win.

The 1-1 draw at the Britannia towards the end of the season scuppered Chelsea’s Premier League chances, but we’re backing the Stamford Bridge outfit to stay true to form and make it three wins out of four Premier League fixtures here.

First goalscorer

Didier Drogba is favourite to open the scoring at the Britannia at 4/1 following the slight doubts of Torres starting the fixture.

Frank Lampard is always worth a punt to score first, with odds of 6/1 a tempting bet.

Jonathan Walters put Stoke one up in the corresponding fixture last season and is 9/1 to repeat that feat on Saturday.