Chelsea dominated much of the first half at Stamford Bridge – but it was Stoke who came closest to scoring.
Potters forward Jon Walters almost put his side ahead when he headed Glenn Whelan’s 19th-minute free-kick against the bar.
Fernando Torres missed Chelsea’s best chance of the half when Juan Mata’s clever chip into the box left him with just keeper Asmir Begovic to beat, only for the striker to chest the ball down and then fail to connect with his shot.
Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo opted to rotate his squad, leaving John Terry and Frank Lampard among the substitutes with Ramires partnering John Obi Mikel in midfield and Gary Cahill coming in an centre-back alongside David Luiz.
Former England striker Michael Owen is on the bench for Stoke.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Luiz, Cole; Mikel, Ramires; Mata, Oscar, Hazard; Torres.
Subs: Romeu, Lampard, Moses, Azpilicueta, Bertrand, Terry, Turnbull.