Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Stoke boss Hughes: Chelsea struggling to manage their dark arts

The beautiful game- football fans from around the world- As Euro 2016 fever spreads across the continent we cast an eye over the world of colour passion and pride the joy and the heartbreak that the beautiful game stirs across the globe Premier League Predictions: Man United's Southampton test
Christy Curtis | 24 September, 2017, 00:44

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte may hand Eden Hazard a start against Stoke City on Saturday (23 September) and confirmed the Belgium worldwide is now completely over the ankle injury which blighted his start to the new season.

Alvaro Morata is showing that Chelsea were right to trust him with succeeding Diego Costa, with the striker continuing his impressive start in the Premier League. A groin injury to Bruno Martins Indi ensured Stoke finished the afternoon without a specialist centre-half and Morata duly capitalised to score twice late on.

That will no doubt give the club a massive boost and is a relief for all fans who were initially anxious for the player.

With Costa now in the rear-view mirror for both Conte and Chelsea, focus has turned to the future and that firmly lies with Morata - who has already made an impression at Stamford Bridge following his £58m move from Real Madrid.

That said, with Drinkwater injured, Conte probably won't want to play all three of his remaining midfielders at the same time if he doesn't need to.

Pedro doubled Chelsea's lead in the 30th when he latched onto Darren Fletcher's misplaced chest pass and drove a fine finish across goalkeeper Jack Butland.

Manchester City, with 11 goals in their past two Premier League games host bottom side Crystal Palace at the Etihad.

For his second, Morata exploited an error by Glen Johnson near the halfway line to outpace his pursuers and dink the ball clinically over Butland from a tight angle on 77 minutes before completing his hat-trick five minutes later on the stretch after good work from Cesar Azpilicueta. "He is fit and he is available for the Stoke game".

Stoke, which was fielding a makeshift defense with Kurt Zouma ineligible and Ryan Shawcross and Kevin Wimmer out injured, is 15th in the table having recorded just win in its opening six games.

Michy Batshuayi also confirmed that the player was "all good" on his Twitter page. For every player, for every single player, the past stays there.

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