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Chelsea V Stoke at Stamford Bridge : Match Preview

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Updated 25 Jan 2014 14:01:00

Chelsea V Stoke at Stamford Bridge : Match Preview

Chelsea V Stoke - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Blues done dealing - Mourinho

Jose Mourinho says Chelsea have concluded their activity in the January transfer window.


The Portuguese has moved to sign Mohamed Salah from Basle, with Juan Mata's move to Manchester United imminent.


Salah, who must pass a medical and agree personal terms, which is something of a formality, will become Chelsea's third signing of the month after Bertrand Traore and Nemanja Matic.


Traore is an 18-year-old prospect who was immediately loaned to Vitesse Arnhem, while Matic has been thrust straight into the first-team squad after initially departing for Benfica in the deal which saw David Luiz move to Stamford Bridge.


"Hopefully we are done," Mourinho said. "We are not bringing in a striker in this window."


Chelsea's initial intention this month was to solely go for Matic, a defensive midfielder, but circumstances and a fee from United too good to turn down will see Mata depart and Salah come in.


Mata and Kevin De Bruyne, who joined Wolfsburg, have departed for big fees and substantial profits.


Mourinho plans to field a strong team against Stoke in their FA Cup fourth-round tie as Chelsea bid to continue their fine recent record in the competition.


The Blues have won the trophy in four of the last seven years, beginning when Mourinho won the cup in 2007 during his first spell.


With Fernando Torres out due to a knee injury, striker Demba Ba could be given a first start since October against a team which beat Chelsea in early December.


Chelsea have won six of their last seven, conceding twice, but Mourinho is wary of a repeat result against Mark Hughes' men.


The Portuguese said: "We lost against this team and it was not a long time ago.


"Everybody knows who Stoke is: very physical, very direct, very strong on set-pieces, they come here to compete.


"I expect a very difficult match. That's why I'm going to play with a strong team.


"I'm not going to make big changes in the team, because we are going to try to go as far as possible in the competition. We have to play with a very strong team."


Stoke boss Mark Hughes hopes his side's win over Chelsea in December will be playing on the Blues' minds.


The task of taking on Mourinho's men away has been notoriously difficult, with the London outfit suffering only one home defeat this season and none in the Premier League at all in either of the Portuguese's spells in charge.


They did, however, suffer a dramatic 3-2 league loss at Stoke last month - something Hughes is optimistic may count in his team's favour with regard to psychology.


The Welshman, a former Chelsea player, said: "We take confidence from the fact that we have already beaten them this season.


"It wasn't at Stamford Bridge and, historically, Stamford Bridge when Chelsea are under Mourinho has been a very difficult place to get a positive result.


"But the fact that we have beaten them I think will help us - and possibly play on their minds somewhat.


"We have to try to use that to our advantage.


"There won't be any apprehension in terms of what we are going to try to do.


"If we do it well, on our day we are difficult for anyone, as we have proved - and as Chelsea know."


Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic could make his return to action on Sunday after being sidelined for six matches by a broken finger.


Kenwyne Jones, who was not considered for selection last time out as a result of his refusal to play in the game before that, may also be back in the squad, with Hughes having said the striker "comes into our thinking".


John Guidetti, the frontman on loan from Manchester City, will be assessed having felt ill on Friday, while Robert Huth (knee), Andy Wilkinson (heel) and Matthew Etherington (calf) remain unavailable.


Winger Jermaine Pennant will not feature as he has been released by the Potters.



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