Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Stoke v Chelsea

The Liverpool legend is tipping Chelsea to drop points for the second successive Premier League game on Saturday afternoon

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte Photo: Scree

Mark Lawrenson is backing Chelsea to drop points for the second successive game at Stoke City on Saturday afternoon.

The defending Premier League champions lost ground on Manchester City and Manchester United in the title race last weekend following a goalless draw with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.

The west London side lost 3-2 to Burnley in their opening fixture of the 2017-18 season to make a disastrous start to the defence of their Premier League crown.

Antonio Conte’s side have collected 10 points from their opening five games in the Premier League to leave them three points adrift of leaders Manchester City.

Chelsea’s next assignment is a trip to Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon but the bet365 Stadium has proven a difficult ground for some of the best teams in the division.

Manchester United were forced to settle for a point in a 2-2 draw with the Potters earlier this month, while Arsenal lost 1-0 to Stoke City in the second weekend of the Premier League.

Former Liverpool defender Lawrenson believes the title holders will drop two points when Conte comes up against Mark Hughes’ side in the midlands on Saturday afternoon.

“Stoke boss Mark Hughes was absolutely fuming after Tuesday’s Carabao Cup defeat by Championship side Bristol City and he will get a reaction from his side,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

“The Potters will set it out to make it difficult for Chelsea, and they showed against Manchester United earlier in the month what they are capable of against the top teams.”

Chelsea were 5-1 winners against Nottingham Forest in the League Cup third round on Wednesday night.

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