Stoke City v Chelsea

Chelsea are in the midst of a crisis, and will be looking to ease the pressure with a win in the League Cup against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Tuesday.

The Blues have been struggling this season and recently slumped to their fifth defeat of the league campaign away to West Ham, leaving the reigning champions 15th in the Premier League standings.

Manager Jose Mourinho has always taken England's second cup competition seriously, and will be hoping for a morale-boosting result to help turn their season around.

The Potters can smell blood and will be hoping to be the next hurdle to trip the Blues up, but they too were on the losing end of their latest match.

After stringing together three consecutive victories, Mark Hughes' side were beaten 2-0 by Watford at the weekend and looked sluggish at best.

Nemanja Matic is unavailable for Chelsea after his red card in the defeat to West Ham. Mourinho also won't be able to call on French striker Loic Remy (knock) or Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic (hamstring), who are only pencilled in for a return at the weekend. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois (knee) is still unavailable.

For Stoke, American defender Geoff Cameron (muscular injury) remains on the sidelines but centre-back Ryan Shawcross (back) could be in line to make his return.

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