Chelsea Vs Stoke City, Sat 28 Aug 2010

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Brazil midfielder Ramires could make his debut for Chelsea against Stoke.

The #17million new signing from Benfica is in the squad and is likely to start on the bench with Chelsea having hit six goals in each of their two Barclays Premier League matches so far this season.

Branislav Ivanovic is a doubt with a back problem and Jeffrey Bruma is recovering from a hernia operation while Gael Kakuta has a back injury. Portuguese full-back Jose Bosingwa has resumed training and could return to action in one to two weeks.

Brazilian insists he is ready for the physical challenge of the Premier League.

The 23-year-old, who cost £17million from Benfica, is likely to start on the Stamford Bridge bench with Chelsea having scored six goals in both of their first two league games this season.

But he cannot wait to begin his Premier League career and is under no illusions about the physical and mental toughness required in the world's most competitive league.

Ramires, talking through an interpreter at Chelsea's training ground, said: "I understand the challenge ahead, both in the Premier League and the Champions League and I'm ready for that. If I hadn't been ready, I wouldn't have signed for a club like this.

"I know what lies ahead and I'm looking forward to taking on that challenge."

Stoke striker Kenwyne Jones could return to action after missing last weekend's defeat to Tottenham with an ankle injury.

Jones, who sustained the problem on the opening day of the season at Wolves, has what Potters boss Tony Pulis describes as an "outside chance" of featuring at Stamford Bridge.

Pulis also hopes Liam Lawrence will have recovered from his groin injury, while Mamady Sidibe is a long-term absentee having ruptured his Achilles tendon.

Pulis admits his side will be entering the lion's den.

Despite going down 3-1 against Manchester United in the Community Shield, the Blues have made a formidable start to the defence of their Barclays Premier League title, defeating West Brom 6-0 on the opening day of the season before registering the same scoreline at Wigan last week.

Stoke - who in losing 2-1 to Wolves and Tottenham have also posted identical results in their two league games so far - travel to Stamford Bridge tomorrow having been beaten there 7-0 towards the end of the 2009-10 campaign, and Pulis knows the Potters will have plenty to do if they are to avoid another mauling.

"They are a top side and they deserve to be a top side with the players they have got," Pulis said.

"We know how difficult it is going to be and they have started like a house on fire, so we are going into the lion's den.

"On the back of getting beaten by Manchester United at Wembley, that might have been the kick up the backside they needed because they have really flown out of the blocks."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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