Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Saturday December 26 2009
26th December 2009
Stoke City will step into a media maelstrom today at Eastlands as Man City parade their new manager. Tony Pulis got the squad together last night at a hotel and will be trying to ensure that their minds are on the football rather than the media circus on the blue side of Manchester.
It's likely that whichever side copes best with the attention will come out the winners with Man City under the worse pressure after the events that saw Mark Hughes depart last weekend and Roberto Mancini installed which, if you listen to the rumours, has upset some of the senior players.
Tony Pulis is not sure how the pressure will effect either side: 'There is bound to be some sort of reaction, good or bad, but you can toss a coin. I'm sure they'll be fired up for it and if they start well, we could be in for a very difficult afternoon. But if they don't, then it could work in our favour.
Mancini banned Christmas Day at Eastlands, preferring to have his players with him for the whole day in an attempt to quickly rebuild some of the team spirit that evaporated after last weekend's win against Sunderland. He'll have to cope without Nedum Onuoha, Joleon Lescott and Wayne Bridge who are all injured and fitness doubts surround Micah Richards and Shaun Wright-Phillips.
The Argentinian seems to have found his feet on the blue side of the city and out of the shadows of the likes of Berbatov and Rooney typified by his five goals in the last five games.
Robert Huth is back from suspension and Ryan Shawcross is hoping to have finally shaken off a groin strain that kept him out of the match at Villa last weekend. You'd expect Tony Pulis to stick with the same front line that did well at Villa despite the scoreline, so it would look like Tuncay and Big Mama up front with James Beattie and Ric Fuller on the bench. Stoke will want to put the disappointment of that unjustified defeat behind them and move on and whilst this is a tough match there is a chance to throw some banana skins in front of the home team.
We all know that Big Mama is not exactly a prolific scorer so the sight of the Mali striker heading into the back of the net after a long spell out with an injury would have been a welcome surprise. To then see that perfectly good goal disallowed last week is something we hope that he's able to bounce back from quickly - how about today?
Lee Mason. All we ask for this Christmas is a fair ref.....
Monday 28th December: Birmingham (home) kick-off: 3pm
Saturday 2nd January: York City (home) kick-off: 3pm FA Cup
Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!
Date:Saturday December 26 2009
Ref Watch: Moss to officiate Chelsea v Stoke (Tuesday March 31 2015)
Stoke's March goal of the month (Friday March 27 2015)
Adam wins Crystal Palace man of the match poll (Friday March 27 2015)
Stoke manager Hughes signs contract extension (Friday March 27 2015)
The Stoke City Injury Table Situation (Friday March 27 2015)
Crystal Palace controversially beat Stoke (Monday March 23 2015)
N'Zonzi wins West Brom man of the match poll (Sunday March 22 2015)
Butland promoted to senior England squad (Sunday March 22 2015)
Stats: Stoke City v Crystal Palace (Sunday March 22 2015)
Butland extends contract (Saturday March 21 2015)
|9. West Ham||30||11||9||10||3||42|
|11. Crystal Palace||30||9||9||12||-5||36|
|De Gea on Champions League and Staying
» Man Utd : 01/04/2015 17:29:01
|Chelsea Duo Impress in England Defeat
» Chelsea : 01/04/2015 17:23:01
|Silva Targets That Elusive Trophy
» Man City : 01/04/2015 17:07:01
|Liverpool: Swap Walcott For Sterling?
» Liverpool : 01/04/2015 16:59:01
|N'Doye - I'll Play Where It Benefits The Team
» Hull City : 01/04/2015 16:34:00