London: Jose Mourinho will attempt to revive Chelsea’s campaign after a disastrous week that has damaged their ambitions in both the Champions League and the Premier League.
The Blues find themselves in the unfamiliar position of trying to avoid a third successive defeat when Stoke visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Seven days previously, Mourinho’s side unexpectedly lost at Crystal Palace, a result that prompted the Blues manager to write off Chelsea’s hopes of beating Liverpool and Manchester City to the Premier League title.
And that shock defeat, which saw Chelsea drop to second in the Premier League – two points behind Liverpool, was followed by a painful 3-1 reverse at Paris Saint Germain in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final.
Victory over Stoke would provide a much needed confidence boost, particularly as PSG visit west London next week for the decisive return leg.
But Mourinho knows Chelsea can’t take anything for granted against Mark Hughes’ side, having lost at the Britannia Stadium in December.
And should Stoke manage to pull off the double over Chelsea, they will bring to an end Mourinho’s unbeaten Premier League home record.
Mourinho bemoaned his lack of forward strength immediately after the PSG game when he started with makeshift striker Andre Schurrle up front, leaving Fernando Torres and Demba Ba on the bench.
Samuel Eto’o is hoping to be fit for the visit of Stoke after missing the two recent defeats with a hamstring problem and should the Cameroon striker recover, he will almost certainly step back in to lead the line.
Despite Mourinho’s pessimism, Chelsea remain in the title hunt.