Official Boothen Roar Match Preview:Stoke City v Chelsea
Feature by Dan Buxton
Updated Thursday, 11th August 2011
A look at the Potters opening Premier League game of the season
The Potters welcome Chelsea to the Britannia Stadium in Sunday big Premier League kick off for the two sides.
Stoke finished 13th last season in the Premier League and came within a whisker of an upset when these sides met late in the season. The visitors finished 2nd in the table but with new manager Villas-Boas in charge will be looking to win silverware during the upcoming season.
Stoke had a very good home record last season and beat fourteen sides at the Brit, suffering only five defeats and have already beaten Hajduk Split 1-0 at home this season. The Londoners won seven times away from home in the league last season but lost seven times away aswell.
In the 43 matches between these sides at Stoke, the Potters have won 18, the visitors 16 and nine have been drawn. Last season when the pair clashed at the Britannia Stadium Jon Walters gave City an early lead before Didier Drogba rescued what was an undeserved point for the visitors. Overall Chelsea have won 38 times to the Potters 27 victories.
The referee is Mark Halsey. He reffed Stoke five times last season. 2-0 home wins over Fulham and Liverpool, a 3-1 home win over Arsenal, 1-1 home draw with Cardiff and 1-0 defeat away at Birmingham. He refereed Chelsea three times last season, in their 4-2 away win against Sunderland and 1-0 away defeats at Birmingham and Wolves.
The Met Office report that there will beligjht rain showers, temperatures of a warm 18 degrees celsius, good visibility with a 10mph breeze, with gusts of 21mph.
Prediction: City strike early on through Kenwyne Jones before Huth adds a second. Drogba pulls a goal back after half time but the Potters hold on for a memorable victory