By Johnny Edward:
Super Eagles midfielder Mikel Obi is poised for his third start this season for Chelsea when they take on Stoke City as they continue the defence of their Capital One Cup at Brittania Stadium.
Mikel who came on for Cesc Fabregas on Saturday as Jose Mourinho’s men suffered a 2-1 defeat away at West Ham, their fifth league defeat of the season, is expected to start in the absence of Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic who is suspended for the fixture.
His first start of this season was in Chelsea's 4-1 win away at Walsall in the third round of the competition while his second came in the Blues 2-1 loss away to FC Porto in the UEFA Champions League at the Estadio Dragao.
It will be his seventh appearance this season for the Blues who are languishing in the 15th position on the EPL log.
Elsewhere, Sone Aluko is a major doubt for Hull City who will be looking to make history on Tuesday night when they host Premier League Leicester City in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup.
Aluko pulled out of Saturday’s game during the pre-match warm-up when he injured his thigh.
The Tigers have never gone beyond round four of the competition, and to do so this season Steve Bruce’s in-form team will have to stop a Leicester side that has been flying of late and lost only one game all season.