Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Friday August 15 2008
16th August 2008
Stoke City's first ever match in the top flight of English football for 23 years and their first ever match in the Premier League takes place on Saturday at the Reebok Stadium against Bolton.
Whilst the match may not be billed as the most thrilling encounter on the day's fixture list, it will certainly be a moment of history for the 2,700 travelling Potters' fans, whatever the result.
Bolton ended the season on a good home run which ensured that they just missed relegation, but they are hotly tipped to be down at the bottom of the league (along with us) so this match should be an interesting early pointer to the rest of the season.
As a former Stoke manager and close friend of the current incumbent, Bolton boss, Gary Megson knows probably more about the Potters than any other Premier League manager. He will know that the Potters will take to the field on a high: 'I've been really surprised that people think it's just a case of turning up and we'll beat Stoke.
'That's not the case. Stoke will prove to everybody this season that they're a really difficult opponent.
'They come up with the momentum of being promoted, they've got some good players. Stoke are not a mug team.'
Bolton have no pre-season niggles except for Icelandic striker Heidar Helguson who is sidelined with a hernia problem.
We should be able to cope with the likes of Danny Shittu who was signed from Watford during the summer to try and reduce last season's tally of 54 goals conceded by Wanderers
Stoke will be hoping that Liam Lawrence and Ricardo Fuller will both be fit for the start of the season after they've both spent a large part of pre-season recovering from injury. the Potters will have all four new signings (Sorensen, Kitson, Olofinjana and Amdy Faye) available for selection.
Stoke's record signing will make his league debut for the Potters and will hopefully be able to start alongside Ric Fuller
This is the Potters first visit to the Reebok Stadium
Sat 23rd August: Aston Villa (home) kick-off 3pm
Saturday 30th August: Middlesborough (away) kick-off: 3pm
Sun 14th September: Everton (home) kick-off 1.30pm - Sky TV
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Date:Friday August 15 2008
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Butland to make England competitive debut (Monday October 12 2015)
Stoke City Walking Wounded - Injury Update (Friday October 9 2015)
Stoke's December Manchester games live on TV (Thursday October 8 2015)
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Diouf's mother dies in Mecca stampede (Tuesday October 6 2015)
Arnautovic named in Garth Crooks' team of the weekend (Monday October 5 2015)
Arnautovic wins AFC Bournemouth Man of the Match poll (Monday October 5 2015)
Arnautovic goal gives Stoke third successive Villa Park win (Monday October 5 2015)
Stats: Aston Villa v Stoke City (Monday October 5 2015)
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