Chelsea v Stoke City: Match Preview

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Chelsea v Stoke City
Barclays Premier League
Stamford Bridge
Saturday, 10 March 2012. Kick-off: 15:00


Team News


Chelsea are hopeful John Terry could make his comeback against Stoke in interim boss Roberto di Matteo’s first Premier League game in charge of the west London club.


Ashley Cole has overcome a heel complain and should play, otherwise di Matteo has a full strength squad to choose from.


Stoke may be without Rory Delap who has a hamstring problem as does Andy Wilkinson.


Kalou aiming for first team run


Salomon Kalou says he is hoping for an extended run in the Chelsea first team after getting a taste off the action in the F.A Cup on Tuesday.


The Ivory Coast international was handed his first start since Chelsea’s fourth round Carling Cup clash against Everton back in October as the Blues beat Birmingham to secure an F.A Cup quarter final spot in Roberto di Matteo’s first game as interim manager.


The former Chelsea midfielder will be aiming for victory in his first Premier League game in charge and Kalou says he has his sights set on helping him get the club’s season back on track.


"I have fresh legs, but also because I haven't been playing maybe I need a couple of games to get my sharpness and help the team win games’” he told Chelsea's official site.


"I have been determined since the beginning of the season, I just didn't have the opportunity to show my best football. I believe if the opportunity is there it is for me to take it and show what I can bring to the team.


Di Matteo has stepped into the hot seat at Stamford Bridge until the end of the season following Andre-Villas-Boas’ acrimonious exit earlier this month.


The former Porto boss was given his marching orders following a poor run of results that has left them three points adrift of Arsenal who occupy the fourth and final Champions League qualification spot.


He faces a tough test with the visit of Stoke to Stamford Bridge this weekend, and Kalou acknowledges that the home side won’t have it all their own way against Tony Pulis’s men.


“We know this is still a difficult game to play and we need to have motivation for it,” Kalou said.


“Winning at Birmingham was a good result for us and we should have the confidence now to go through and win games. It was the perfect example of how to play for and fight for the team.


He added: “As long as we do the basics right ,with the quality we have we can go on and win games now.”


Kalou bagged a hat-trick against in Chelsea’s 7-0 win over the Potters in 2010, and the former Feyenoord winger says he would relish the opportunity to repeat that feat.


"I have scored a couple of goals against Stoke, that's a positive thing for me and hopefully tomorrow I will get the chance to do the same, he said. 'I still have the match ball from 2010, it's at home in my living room and I hope I can get another one to go with it soon."

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Salomon Kalou
Premier League

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