Paul Merson states prediction for Chelsea v Stoke

The Arsenal legend is backing Premier League leaders Chelsea to record a 13th successive win

Paul Merson is backing Chelsea to ease to a 13th successive Premier League victory when Antonio Conte’s side host Stoke City at Stamford Bridge on New Year’s Eve.

The Blues were 3-0 winners against Bournemouth in west London on Boxing Day after goals from Pedro Rodriguez either side of half-time and Eden Hazard’s second-half penalty.

Chelsea are six points ahead of their closest rivals Liverpool in the Premier League title race after their impressive 12-game winning run in the English top flight.

The west London outfit haven’t lost a Premier League fixture since September when Arsenal were 3-0 winners against Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium.

Stoke City lost 4-1 to Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday evening despite Mark Hughes’ side edging into a first-half lead through Jonathan Walters.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson is confident that Chelsea will secure another Premier League win against the Potters on New Year’s Eve.

“I think Chelsea have been different class – and were brilliant against Bournemouth again. To do what they’ve done, I think a 13th straight win is definitely on the cards,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“Stoke have to get lucky. They took the lead against Liverpool and Joe Allen should have scored really, and if he does then it’s 2-0 – but Liverpool go down the other end and it’s 1-1.

“So they need luck and get the ball into the box. I don’t think Liverpool would be able to live with Peter Crouch but they have to get far enough up the pitch to pose them problems.”

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Chelsea have kept nine clean sheets in their last 12 Premier League wins.

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