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The FA Cup

Predicted Chelsea XI to play Stoke City - Lampard to return?

Match to be played on Sunday January 26 2014 at 15:30 GMT. Venue: Stamford Bridge, London.

Chelsea have one of the more difficult FA Cup ties this weekend as they take on fellow Premier League side Stoke City.

Jose Mourinho’s men will be full of confidence after they condemned Manchester United to another defeat last weekend in a game where they looked vastly superior to their Premier League rivals.

Mourinho may tweak his side slightly but he should retain a strong team. Here’s the eleven he’s likely to go with.

GK – Petr Cech

The Chelsea goalkeeper is one of the side’s most reliable players. He has plenty of experience and uses it well to keep his defence well organised.

RB – Cesar Azpilicueta

The Spaniard has been a very reliable and consistent defender for Chelsea. He’s able to slot in on either side of the defence, potentially the right on this occasion.

CB – Gary Cahill

Cahill played well against Manchester United and he’s been another very consistent player in the heart of the back four.

CB – John Terry

Terry has had the opportunity to rest following the game against Manchester United and he will be a key player against the physical and aerial threat that Stoke possess.

LB – Ashley Cole

Cole could come back into the defence on the left hand side. He’ll be fresh after he was an unused sub against United and should be determined to have a good 90 minutes.

RM – Willian

Willian seems to have cemented a place for himself on the right hand side of Chelsea’s midfield. He works well with the right-back and can also come inside when necessary.

DM – Nemanja Matic

Matic should be ready to start a game for Chelsea. His job will be to protect the defence and pick off any threat Stoke pose through their midfield.

CM – Frank Lampard

Lampard should be eager to get back into the side after an injury lay-off. He has the experience to control the pace of this game perfectly.

AM – Oscar

With Juan Mata on the verge of a move to Manchester United, Oscar becomes the primary attacking midfielder at Chelsea. The Blues will try and get the ball to him as quickly as possible.

LM – Eden Hazard

Hazard can control the left, he can come inside and he poses a constant threat from all positions. This is another chance for him to maintain the world class form he’s been showing.

ST – Samuel Eto’o

It would be odd of Mourinho to drop Eto’o off the back of a hat-trick. He’s got the quality to take any sort of half chance which falls his way during this game.

image: © wonker

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