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Stoke City

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Hughes: Chelsea can win four

Chelsea
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Mirallas could return against Stoke

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Everton forward Kevin Mirallas (ankle) is pushing to return for the Boxing Day clash with Stoke in the Barclays Premier League.

James McCarthy (hamstring) could also be back in action during the Christmas programme, which continues with a trip to Newcastle on Sunday.

His fellow midfielders Leon Osman (ankle) and Darron Gibson (knee) are not yet ready to return while defender Tony Hibbert faces a fortnight out after suffering a knock in training.

Manager Roberto Martinez is prepared to make changes as...

 By Alex Shaw

Premier League Report Cards: How has your team fared so far this season?

The ESPN FC crew give their Premier League week 17 team of the weekend, which includes three Manchester City players and Queens Park Rangers hat-trick hero, Charlie Austin.

As we approach the midway point in the 2014-15 Premier League season, it's time to have a look back at the campaign so far. We asked our ESPN FC bloggers to tackle seven questions. Who's your side's unlikely hero, and who has work to do?

Premier League Report Card

1. Grade

2. Your Season So Far -- In A Sentence

3. Highlight

4. Lowpoint

5. Surprise Star

6. Must Do Better

7. Great Expectations

Each team's grade for the season so far is below. Click on the team name for a comprehensive summary.

Club-by-club guide

Countdown
Leicester
(C-)

Countdown
Hull City
(D)

Countdown
Burnley
(C-)

Countdown
Crystal Palace
(C-)

Countdown
QPR
(E)

Countdown
West Brom
(D)

Countdown
Sunderland
(C)

Countdown
Stoke City
(B-)








Premier League's Best XI outside the established order

Prem XI
ESPN FC's Best of the Rest.

Some facts get quoted so often they become footballing cliches. Seamus Coleman cost 60,000 pounds. Rickie Lambert used to work in a beetroot factory. And now there is the newest: Wilfried Bony has scored more Premier League goals than anyone else in 2014.

There are circumstances to explain what, at first, seemed a strange statistic. Luis Suarez, Diego Costa and Alexis Sanchez spent only part of the calendar year in England. Daniel Sturridge and Sergio Aguero missed significant parts of it because...

By ESPN Staff
2 days ago

Burley: Standard of refereeing is quite poor

ESPN FC's Craig Burley criticises the refereeing throughout the world, while Peter Walton and Steve Nicol debate whether or not Phil Bardsley should have been shown red in his challenge on Eden Hazard.

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Stoke City can be encouraged despite loss to Chelsea

Stoke manager Mark Hughes says his side gave themselves no chance in their 2-0 loss to Chelsea, after conceding a goal after just 90 seconds.

Chelsea and their manager Jose Mourinho played a perfect game on Monday evening and Stoke should feel no shame at all in losing to the side that will most certainly finish top of the league come the end of the season.

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The 2-0 scoreline perhaps flattered the Potters such was Chelsea's comfort, though even the most fervent of Stoke critics would accept that with 25 minutes remaining Stoke were knocking on the door for an equaliser. Those critics were sadly out in force on Monday having been whipped...