Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Friday August 29 2008
30th August 2008
Stoke City will be looking to take the confidence from last week's win against Villa to the North East this weekend as they take on Middlesborough at the Riverside.
Tony Pulis reminded everyone not to get carried away with last week's first win: 'The Villa game has come and gone. It was an important win and a great day for the club, and it showed the character we have got within the group of players.
'But we move on now because we've got to prepare for a very tough game at Middlesbrough on Saturday.
'They were unfortunate to lose at Liverpool and the reports I'm getting is they are a much better team than they were last year.'
Boro boss, Gareth Southgate will have to decide whether to allow Mido to start. Keeper Brad Jones remains out with a finger injury, so Ross Turnbull will play.
Defenders David Wheater and Andrew Taylor are fit again and are included in the squad, meaning Julio Arca (ankle) is their only other absentee.
Chris Riggott, who enjoyed a good loan spell at the Brit last season, made his first appearance of the new season in their midweek Cup win over Yeovil.
The Egyptian striker has just joined Boro in a £8m move from Spurs and came off the bench to score in both their opening league games and followed those up with yet another goal in the Yeovil match.
Andy Griffin is a possible doubt after suffering a bruised knee, otherwise the Potters will be able to field the same starting eleven that beat Villa last week after resting everyone except Dicko for the match against Cheltenham on Tuesday.
If Stoke fans aren't watching him, you can be sure as eggs are eggs that the Middlesborough players will be after his match winning throw in the dying seconds of the Villa game.
Stoke's last top-flight match at Middlesborough was way back in September 1981 at the old Ayresome Park ground where we lost 3-2, but we got our own back at the Victoria Ground later on in the season with a 2-0 victory.
Sun 14th Sept: Everton (home) kick-off: 1.30pm SKY TV
Sat 20th Sept: Liverpool (away) kick-off: 3pm
Sat 27th Sept: Chelsea (home) kick-off: 3pm
Date:Friday August 29 2008
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