Cahil DROPPED, Ivanovic & Zouma STARTS! Chelsea STARTING XI vs Stoke City

Jose Mourinho made two changes in the home defeat to Liverpool, with John Obi Mikel and Oscar coming in for Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas.

Mikel partnered Ramires at the base of the midfield, while Oscar played on the left of the three attacking midfield positions, with Eden Hazard moving into the number ten role. After an ineffectual performance against the Merseysiders, and then subsequently being dropped in the midweek Champions league win against Dynamo Kiev, Hazard’s place in the side appears far from secure.

Mourinho does have options at his disposal in attacking positions, with Fabregas a possibility to be recalled in the double-pivot or in advanced attacking midfield role, allowing Oscar to battle it out with Hazard for the left-wing role.

Pedro is a further option after recovering from a knock, and the inclusion of the Spaniard could perhaps see the in-form Willian shift to a more central position.

Elsewhere, Matic will be pushing for a recall in central midfield ahead of Ramires or Mikel, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek presents a further option.

Diego Costa will lead the line as usual, with Loic Remy providing back-up from the bench. Branislav Ivanovic has returned to training and is included in the squad following his recovery from a hamstring injury. Mourinho may keep faith with an unchanged defence, then, although Ivanovic and Baba Rahman offer him options to shuffle which could see one of Kurt Zouma, John Terry or Gary Cahill drop to the bench.

Radamel Falcao has been ruled out for a few weeks with a muscle injury and joins Thibaut Courtois on the sidelines.

Having said this, here is how Mourinho is expected to lineup his side against Stoke.

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