Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Saturday November 7 2009
8th November 2009
Sunday lunchtime will see Stoke's first ever live televised away match since we arrived in the Premier League 15 months ago. Last season Sky seemed to have taken the view that the Potters were at their most entertaining at the Brit (at least for the neutral) and that was probably true with just two victories on our travels. So it's no coincidence that they've picked the one place where we've never been beaten and where we did pick up one of those rare three points on the road.
But there is someone else to spice up the fixture with the Tigers continuing their free-fall down the league having notched up only two wins so far this time around and Tango Man's job is well and truly on the line with the bean-counters forecasting financial disaster should Hull get relegated. But we all know that tigers are at their most dangerous when cornered so there should be nothing taken for granted.
The disappointing draw last weekend against Wolves shows how far our expectations have risen in the past year and certainly Ryan Shawcross is hoping that the shock of losing a two goal lead will be just the wake-up call we needed:
'It was very disappointing to lose a two-goal lead because we were so comfortable in the first half, but there are lessons to be learnt from that and we will be doing our utmost to ensure that we don't concede goals like that again for some time.'
'The manager has drilled it into us all season, but we've spent some time working on the training ground this week following that setback.'
Keeper, Boaz Myhill is injured leaving reserve keeper Matt Dyke between the posts for his second game. One of the Tigers' most influential players, Geovanni, is suspended after being sent off in their defeat at Burnley last week. Stoke loanee, Ibrahima Sonko is unable to play due to the rules banning players from playing against their home clubs.
Whilst Sonko may not be available, Seyi will be playing in a gold and black shirt after his £3m move from the Brit at the start of the season. He's made eight starts in the League but is yet to score and is bound to be keen to show his old boss what he's been missing.
Mamady Sidibe is again a doubt after having to be brought off in the midweek reserve match after just six minutes with a groin problem. Robert Huth is back from suspension and likely to edge out Andy Wilkinson. Salif Diao is another doubt after missing last week with a calf injury.
The Stoke skipper did not seem his usual reliable self last week, so we'll be on the look-out for a return to normal service for the trip to Hull
Who can forget Liam Lawrence's long range rocket at the KC back in May as we celebrated Premier League survival on the east coast with a 2-1 win?
Sunday 22nd November: Portsmouth (home) kick-off 4pm * SKY TV *
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Date:Saturday November 7 2009
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