Published: Sat, September 23, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Stoke manager Mark Hughes faces a headache in defence for Chelsea clash

Stoke manager Mark Hughes faces a headache in defence for Chelsea clash

But we have great players here and we have to be happy if you are here, or in Manchester or Madrid. "We won three titles last season, the only English team to do it", he added.

And speaking at his weekly press briefing, Hughes revealed Kevin Wimmer is struggling to be fit for Saturday's game after damaging a hamstring against Bristol City in midweek.

But the Belgium global proved his match fitness in Wednesday's Carabao Cup win over Nottingham Forest by playing the entire 90 minutes and also finished the game with an assist.

"In the last game I felt a good atmosphere in the changing room - a good link between young players and old players".

Stoke still have Charlie Adam, but he's only played in the League Cup so far. "It won't be easy to have these games very close".

Despite a setback on the opening day of the season, it's been an impressive start overall for Conte's side who are now third in the Premier League table, just three points behind pace-setters Manchester City and Manchester United.

Antonio Conte will welcome back Pedro after resting him against Forest, with the Spaniard having picked up a knock against Arsenal.

However, Guardiola has unleashed the pair to devastating effect this season, with Aguero scoring six goals in six appearances, while Jesus has netted five times in six games.

"This season it will be a big challenge for us, to face each competition with our squad and try to play every three days".

Hazard, meanwhile, made his first Chelsea start of the season in the 5-1 EFL Cup win over Nottingham Forest on Wednesday after breaking his ankle in June and Conte now considers his recovery to be complete.

"I think this is the right way as the season is very long".

"I'm pleased for Eden because in the last game he played I think he played very well with good intensity", said Conte.

'In our last league game we drew against Arsenal but we did a good job against them because it was a tough game, so we have to keep going in the same way.

"I used to really enjoy watching him play and how he went about his business, because he was different - he had an edge to him and the reaction of other players to him was really interesting".

Willian believes the fact we possess such strength in depth can only work in our favour as we enter a testing period. We face a hard game against Stoke now and we have to be ready for it'.

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