Tune in at 10:00 AM ET as Chelsea takes on Stoke. Dan Frankel will be liveblogging for your enjoyment.
Thanks for joining me today as Stoke City travel to Stamford Bridge to take on reigning Champions League winners Chelsea. Please feel free to send in your comments and questions.
Chelsea come into the match today on top of the EPL table with 10 points from 4 games. It was a busy week for the Blues this week drawing a midweek Champions League game against Juventus 2-2. The big talking point after the game was the play of the 21 year old Oscar. The young Brazilian scored a brace (including potential goal of the year) in his first start for the club. Roberto Di Matteo has included Oscar again in his starting 11 today, after there were some concerns that Oscar’s ankle injury he picked up on Wednesday would keep him out of today’s match.
Stoke could make EPL history today, if they were to draw their fifth consecutive game to begin their season. Stoke have started this seasons campaign with a remarkable four consecutive draws. Stoke boss Tony Pulis does not seem all that worried with the start, noting the difficulty level of Stoke’s opening fixtures (Arsenal, Man City, Reading and Wigan).
Chelsea Starting 11: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole; Ramires, Mikel; Mata, Oscar, Hazard; Torres.
Subs: Turnbull, Romeu, Lampard, Moses, Terry, Azpilicueta, Bertrand.
Stoke Starting 11: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Walters, Whelan, Adam, Nzonzi, Kightly, Crouch
Subs: Sorensen, Jones, Owen, Whitehead, Upson, Etherington, Shotton.
John Terry and Frank Lampard are on the bench for Chelsea. Hazard, Mata, Oscar and Torres all starting for Chelsea. Chelsea should be fun to watch going forward.
I am excited to watch American and former Houston Dynamo player Geoff Cameron today at the back for Stoke. He replaces Andy Wilkinson in the starting 11, who begins a three-match ban after accepting a violent conduct charge for an elbow on Mario Balotelli.
Dissapointed not to see former TFC man Maurice Edu included in the squad today for Stoke. Edu was transferred to Stoke last month after spending the past few seasons with Rangers controlling the middle of the park.
Michael Owen must wait to make his first start for Stoke, Peter Crouch continues as the lone striker again.
Just second away from kick-off.
1 min: Early corner for Chelsea.
1 min: Hazard with a hard driver corner, Cameron swings and misses. Ball eventually cleared out for another corner.
2 mins: This time Mata whips in a corner. Ball headed away by Stoke. Chelsea back in possession.
Sturridge is injured and unable to go today.
3 mins: Stoke finally in possession of the ball for the first time find the chest of Crouch up front. Ball finds its way to Kightly who strikes one from distance off of Luiz and out for a corner.
3 mins: Corner finds a Chelsea player in Torres, who quickly spring the counter.
4mins: Chelsea back in possession of the ball. Luiz plays a ball on the ground to Hazard, gets his body in the right possession and forces Cameron to take him down for a free-kick for Chelsea.
5 mins: Torres with a good burst of acceleration forces another corner for Chelsea.
1-way traffic at the moment.
6 mins: Mata curls in a corner finds the head of Torres who just can't head the ball down. Ball floats well over the net.
7 mins: Crouch working hard up front for Stoke trying to help relieve some pressure for Stoke.
8 mins: Ramires wins the ball back for Chelsea at midfield. Spring Mata who goes down at the edge of the box screaming for a free-kick but the ref wants nothing to do with it.
I like it! Despite the fact that they are only playing with one "striker" there is enough attacking minded players on the pitch to play the way Chelsea wants to today
10 mins: Stoke with their best chance so far. Cameron whips in a dangerous cross from the right touch-line. Luiz is there to meet it and head it away.
11 mins: Torres finds space and lays it back to Oscar who tries his luck from far. Blocked by Stoke. Corner again for Chelsea. Hazard to take it.
12 mins: Corner just out of the reach for Luiz.
12 Mins: ata and Oscar work a great give and go but it is just too tight in the box. Danger averted for Stoke at the moment.
13 mins: Whelan handles the ball at the corner of the box. Free-kick for Chelsea, but Oscar's free kick is poor and right at Begovic.
14 mins: Wilson does well to break up the Chelsea attack. Stoke back in possession, until Torres works hard to get back and defend and win back possession.