Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Saturday August 15 2009
15th August 2009
It may still be the middle of the English 'summer', but here we go again as the Potters kick off their second season in the Premier League (doesn't that sound good!)
Only Dean Whitehead to show for their buying efforts so far this season, but with Dave Kitson's three goals in pre-season is he a player reborn? Time will tell.
The Clarets will still be on a high after the excitement of their unlikely promotion via the play-offs but hopefully we'll be more than a match to be able to puncture their balloon with another great Brit home crowd behind the team.
Should I be worried after reading far too many quotes from all those pundits who slagged us off last season and now reckon we're going to be safe this time around?
Glenn Whelan played a full 90 minutes in Ireland's friendly against Australia in midweek and may make way for new signing, Dean Whitehead in midfield. Danny Higginbotham is the only injury doubt as he shrugs off a slight hamstring strain but has been training.
amady Sidibe is the only definite casualty as he recovers from his knee operation at the start of the year.
The choice up front may give a small pointer to Kitson's future. Will Tony Pulis take into account his three goals in pre-season and leave Ricardo Fuller on the bench or stick with the tried and tested formula of Fuller and James Beattie up front?
Abdoulaye Faye is likely to be named (not surprisingly) as the new permanent Stoke captain before the game.
Most fans will be getting their first sight of the Potters' summer signing. The former Black Cats' skipper is regarded by many as another good Pulis signing in the same vein as Abdy Faye last year.
Burnley boss Owen Coyle has a shortage of defenders after Steven Caldwell injured his groin during Scotland's 4-0 World Cup defeat in midweek.
Michael Duff will miss out with an ankle injury and new signing David Edgar is suspended.
Stoke fans will be looking out for Pato and hoping that he will not be claiming his first Premier League goal at the Brit.
Wednesday 19th August: Liverpool (away) kick-off: 7.45pm
Saturday 22nd August: Birmingham (away) kick-off: 3pm
Saturday 29th August: Sunderland (home) kick-off: 3pm
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Date:Saturday August 15 2009
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