This Premier League fixture is a repeat of the Capital One Cup clash just under two weeks ago when Stoke beat Chelsea in a dramatic penalty shootout.
Prior to that match, the Potters had only beaten the Blues once in their previous 17 attempts, losing 14 times in the process.
Despite this, Mark Hughes will know the champions are there for the taking with the visitors only picking up two wins in their last 10 away games in all competitions.
The Welshman will look to put pressure on Chelsea’s backline from the off, with the visitors conceding 22 times in the league already, and left picking the ball out of the back of their own net at least twice in each of their last three away games.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho will serve a stadium ban for this match, and he has admitted he doesn’t know where or how he is going to watch the game.
It will not escape Mourinho’s attention that Stoke have only picked up one home win in the league this season, and he will look to keep it tight early on to frustrate the crowd at the Britannia.
The 3-1 defeat at home to Liverpool last week officially made it the worst start of any Premier League title defence in history; Blackburn Rovers had 14 points at this stage in the 95/96 campaign compared to the Blues’ 11 this term.
Hughes has defender Geoff Cameron available again after the American recovered from a calf strain, Phil Bardsley is also back after serving a one-match ban, but loanee Marco van Ginkel is ineligible to play against his parent club.
For the visitors, Pedro returned as a substitute against Kiev and is available, while Branislav Ivanovic has also returned to training. Thibaut Courtois and Radamel Falcao are still injured though.
Loic Remy may well replace the misfiring Diego Costa up front after four goals in his last four games against the Potters, as the Stamford Bridge side look to find a way past the in-form Jack Butland.
League Position: Stoke – 14th (13 pts); Chelsea – 15th (11 pts)
Last Meeting: Stoke 1-1 Chelsea, October 2015
Key Men: Stoke – Jack Butland; Chelsea – Willian
Form: Stoke – DWWWLD; Chelsea – WDLWLL
Shoot Says: Stoke 1-1 Chelsea