English Premiership

Hughes stoked for Blues test

2015-10-26 14:00
Mark Hughes (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Chelsea are the "perfect" opponents for Stoke City to return to winning ways, manager Mark Hughes said after the Potters were beaten 2-0 by Watford in the Premier League on Saturday.

Stoke welcome a struggling Chelsea side to the Britannia Stadium in the League Cup on Tuesday.

The Britannia Stadium is widely acknowledged to be a fortress, but Hughes' side have lost three of their five home league games this season with just one win.

"The performance against Watford was not one I recognised to be perfectly honest," Hughes was quoted as saying by the British media.

"But the good thing is that we have a big game on Tuesday against Chelsea, and that is the perfect game for us. We can get back on track. We'll be better on Tuesday," the 51-year-old Welshman added.

Hughes confirmed that captain Ryan Shawcross, who is yet to play this season, has recovered from a back injury after undergoing surgery in August.

The former Manchester City manager said he was likely to make changes after the poor performance against Watford.

"Ryan was in my thoughts for Tuesday anyway. But obviously, given some of the performances against Watford, maybe other players come into my thinking as well," Hughes said.

Champions Chelsea, who are the holders of the League Cup, also need to bounce back after Sunday's damaging 2-1 defeat at the hands of West Ham United.

They had a man sent off and the manager and his assistant were barred from the touchline during the match.

The club face a mandatory fine from the Football Association for ending the match with six yellow cards, with Mourinho also likely to be sanctioned after no one from the club showed up for the post-match news conference.

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Tuesday, 12 December 2017
Burnley v Stoke City, Turf Moor 21:45
Crystal Palace v Watford, Selhurst Park 22:00
Huddersfield Town v Chelsea, The John Smith's Stadium 22:00
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