Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Friday March 20 2009
21st March 2009
This could well prove the biggest game of the season for the Potters. Three points against the team below us will lift us up the table. Defeat and we could be getting stuck in the relegation mire. Boro have been nearly as poor as the Potters on their travels with just two wins, but their recent poor form (home and away) is dire. Just one win in the last eighteen and that was a 2-0 win against Liverpool at the Riverside.
But we shouldn't get too complacent. You only had to watch Stoke reserves play Pompey on Tuesday night to remind yourself that football is not a game where the deserving always get their just rewards.
TP has tried to lend his support to Boro's embattled manager, Gareth Southgate, but won't be doing him any favours: 'I have tremendous respect for Gareth, but on Saturday there's only one team I want to win and that's us.'
Matty Etherington only played 30 minutes in Tuesday's reserve match before limping off, but he did look bright up to that point. He is said to be ok, but may still be struggling for match fitness. Another questionable starter is Ricardo Fuller. A fit Fuller is a handful for any defence, but he still seems to be suffering from the after effects of his dislocated shoulder. If Fuller does start, Mamady Sidibe will drop to the bench.
He had a mare of a game last week at Everton, but it must remembered that he has saved us many points over the course of the season. This Saturday he does need to be on top form.
Matthew Bates serves a one-match ban after being sent off against Portsmouth last weekend.
Captain, Emanuel Pogatetz faces a late fitness test on a knee injury and Jeremie Aliadiere is also doubtful.
The Brazilian striker arrived at the Riverside last season and made an instant impact with six goals in eleven appearances. This time around he's failed to hit the mark with just four goals in the League in 25 appearances.
Saturday 4th April: West Brom (away) kick-off: 3pm
Saturday 11th April: Newcastle (home) kick-off: 5.30pm
Saturday 18th April: Blackburn (home) kick-off: 3pm
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Date:Friday March 20 2009
Stoke secure marquee Bojan signing (Tuesday July 22 2014)
Stoke to offer free coach travel again (Monday July 21 2014)
Palacios fails Qatar medical (Monday July 21 2014)
Jerome left out of Germany squad (Saturday July 19 2014)
Palacios set for Qatar switch (Saturday July 19 2014)
Cameron given freedom of home city (Saturday July 19 2014)
23-man Stoke squad arrive in Germany (Friday July 18 2014)
Stoke announce 2014/15 squad numbers (Friday July 18 2014)
Which strikers could leave Stoke? (Friday July 18 2014)
Which midfielder's could leave Stoke? (Thursday July 17 2014)
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