Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Friday November 21 2008
22nd November 2008
Stoke start the first of two consecutive home matches with the visit of near neighbours, West Brom to the Brit on Saturday. It's 26 years since the Baggies have managed to win away at Stoke and fans will be hoping that history can repeat itself yet again. West Brom are propping up the Premier League and will see this as an opportunity for some points, but with Stoke's home endeavours far exceeding their away form and another near full house predicted they may, yet again, find life very difficult at the Brit.
Both sides didn't have the best of days last Saturday. Stoke's 5-0 defeat at Old Trafford is best forgotten and the Baggies will be hoping that they can also quickly put their 3-0 defeat at home to Chelsea behind them.
Tony Pulis is certain the players will up for the fight on Saturday after last week's defeat: 'But we've washed that defeat away during the week and I have no doubt we will put it behind us and get ourselves up for what is a massive game on Saturday.'
The only downside to Saturday's match is the one match suspension of Ricardo Fuller after he picked up his 5th yellow card of the season at Old Trafford last week. That leaves Dave Kitson as the man most likely to replace him in attack, but Tony Pulis is naturally keeping his cards close to his chest saying that Vincent Pericard and Richard Cresswell also have a chance to start alongside Mamady Sidibe.
The Danish international keeper was in action for his country against Wales in midweek and they ended up going down 1-0. But there's no doubt that most fans will be glad that Sorensen was our second (and better) choice after Scott Carson turned us down for the Baggies. Carson came on for his second England appearance against Germany and suffered yet another humiliating gaff between the sticks.
Carson will play and will not have an easy ride from the Boothen End. James Morrison is out after suffered a slight tear to his medial ligaments against Chelsea. Former Stoke defender, Carl Hoefkens has seen his options limited to only two starts and two appearances from the bench this season.
The Czech striker has found the net four times this season in addition to the 17 goals he scored last season after joining from Hearts.
Always an eagerly awaiting tie with Stoke fans looking to do another one over on our Black Country neighbours.
Satruday 29th November: Hull (home) kick-off: 3pm
Satruday 6th December: Newcastle (away) kick-off: 3pm
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Date:Friday November 21 2008
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