Date: 6th March 2010 at 3:35pm
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It’s been 38 years since the Potters progressed as far as the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and we’ve been made to battle hard after that 3rd round win against York City with memorable victories over Arsenal and Manchester City. Most neutrals will expect the Potters to fall at this final hurdle before they get a chance to play at Wembley, but since when have we done anything the easy way?

One thing is certain, we are the underdogs and we’re never happier when that’s the case.

Vital Quotes:

The former Chelsea defender and now stalwart Stokie, Robert Huth says that the team does believe we can do it and thinks now is a good time to take on the might of Chelsea at the Bridge.

‘Anyone who goes to Stamford Bridge is the underdog, so there is no pressure on us.’

‘We do have a chance. Chelsea have a lot on their plate in the League, the FA Cup and the Champions League and they have to perform every single game. You never know what can happen.’

Chelsea Team News:

Michael Ballack and Juliano Belletti are suspended after both received a red card in their rare home defeat to Man City last week.

Ricardo Carvalho faces a late fitness test on a hamstring injury sustained whilst away on international duty and Jose Bosingwa has been ruled out for the season as he needs further surgery on a knee injury.

Player to watch: John Terry

He seems to have had a lot on his mind over the past few weeks, culminating in a relatively poor performance last weekend, but seemed to start to get it together again in the England friendly last Wednesday.

Stoke City Team News:

Ryan Shawcross is suspended (as if the whole world didn’t know!). Matty Etherington and Danny Higginbotham will both face late fitness tests. Other than that Stoke should have the rest of the squad available – barring any slight injury niggles from those returning from international duty.

Player to watch: Thomas Sorensen

It’s going to be a tough match with the Potters aiming for a straight win or the chance of another replay at the Brit so Tommo is likely to be a key player as Drogba and Co bear down on him.

Match Facts & Stats

Ref Watch:

Martin Atkinson.
Best remembered for sending off Rory Delap in the home match against Man City last season, but then missed Wright-Phillips’ retaliation which was picked up by the FA afterwards.

Next Fixtures:

Saturday 13th March: Aston Villa (home) kick-off: 3pm

 

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