Banned Mourinho forced to sit out EPL clash with Stoke
SPUTTERING Chelsea will take on Stoke City in their English Premier League clash tonight without under-siege manager Jose Mourinho who has copped a one-game stadium ban for speaking to referee Jon Moss during half-time of the recent loss to West Ham.
Mourinho has had a running battle with officials this season, and apart from his ban, was also slugged $A85,000 for the incident.
This week he had an appeal against a $105,000 fine and suspended one-match ban dismissed, those sanctions arising for comments he made after his team's defeat by Southampton earlier in the season where he said officials were afraid to award Chelsea a penalty.
The Blues have made the worst start to a season by any EPL champion, having won only three of its 11 matches.
It has already lost six matches, and another would break new ground for Mourinho who has never been in charge of a team that has lost seven games in a single EPL season.
Stoke would love nothing more than giving the Portuguese (pictured) a new record, and will feel confident of doing just that after knocking Chelsea out of the League Cup in their fourth-round clash last month.
In this weekend's other games, West Brom will look to become just the second team other than Manchester City to beat Manchester United three times in succession at Old Trafford.
Rd 12 Draw (home teams first): Sat - Bournemouth v Newcastle, Leicester v Watford, Man United v West Brom, Norwich v Swansea, Sunderland v Southampton, West Ham v Everton, Stoke v Chelsea. Sun: Aston Villa v Man City, Arsenal v Tottenham, Liverpool v Crystal Palace.