When and Where: The Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Stoke City at Stamford Bridge kicks off Saturday at 10 a.m. ET. The match is being shown on Fox Soccer Channel, and it can also be viewed online at FoxSoccer2Go.
Preview: Although Chelsea overcame Birmingham in the FA Cup in midweek, this represents Roberto Di Matteo's first important test as caretaker manager. Andre Villas-Boas was fired due to owner Roman Abramovich's fear that Chelsea would miss out on the Champions League, and, with the club now three points off fourth place, every point is crucial between now and the end of the season.
There remains a massive air of uncertainty at Chelsea, however, with the identity of the club's new manager speculated upon on a near-daily basis.
After a poor run in the league, Stoke have returned to winning ways of late, recording consecutive victories over Swansea and Norwich. The Potters have a poor record against Chelsea in the Premier League, though, and they have yet to record a victory. Indeed, Chelsea has won the last three encounters between the sides at Stamford Bridge.
Team News: John Terry is in contention for a first-team return after an accelerated recovery from knee surgery. Chelsea's defense will be further boosted by Ashley Cole's return at left back.
Di Matteo has two main selection dilemmas for the encounter with Stoke. The first concerns whether to keep faith with Fernando Torres in attack, at the expense of Didier Drogba. The interim boss must also decide if Frank Lampard merits a starting role. The veteran midfielder embodies the torrid time endured by Villas-Boas, with the decision to consistently exclude Lampard from the lineup rumored to have caused dissension that helped expedite his downfall.
Stoke has concerns over defender Andy Wilkinson, who is a doubt after having to be taken off last time out. Long-throw specialist Rory Delap will also be subjected to a late fitness test on his hamstring complaint.
Prediction: Terry's return should be a boost to a defense that has looked even shakier in his absence, especially with the aerial assault likely to come against Stoke. The Potters may well feel that they have never had a better chance to come away from Stamford Bridge for something to show for their efforts.
For all Villas-Boas' troubles, it is hard to see how the management team sacked by West Brom last season -- Di Matteo along with his assistant Eddie Newton -- are a better option to right the ship and propel Chelsea into the Champions League.
Chelsea 1-1 Stoke