Stoke vs Fulham preview
Tuesday 5th January
Hot on the heels of the Potters' first win since November, we've got the chance to try and earn our first Premier League win of 2010 with the visit of Fulham to the Brit.
The Cottagers are doing well this season, confounding sceptics who said that they wouldn't manage to balance the demands of the Premier and Europa leagues with one of the smaller squads in the top flight.
Despite that they come to Stoke on the back of some indifferent away form so there is some room for hope that our forward line can somehow conjure up some goals which have been distinctly absent so far this season.
The manager seems as concerned about our lack of home results as the fans. Whilst we've picked up more points away from home than at this time last season, home form has been troubling so far. Throughout his time at Stoke, Tone has never been keen on many different options past Plan A and he now seems to have agreed with many fans that other teams have rumbled us.
He told the official site: 'I think visiting teams have known what to expect when they come here, which makes it more of a challenge for us. Nevertheless, we have played well in recent home games against Wigan Athletic and Birmingham City, but haven't had the rub of the green on those occasions'.
Stoke City Team News:
Ryan Shawcross is back from suspension and Abdoulaye Faye should start after being rested on Saturday but doubts surround Thomas Sorensen after he injured a finger midway through the victory over York.
Player to watch: Matty Etherington
A well taken goal on Saturday boosted his tally to four and the mantel of top scorer, but that's not something we should be pleased about as our real strikers have significantly failed to step up to the mark so far.
Fulham Team News:
Brede Hangeland is a doubt after missing Saturday's win over Swindon with a knee problem.
Player to watch: Bobby Zamora
The one-time Stoke target has suddenly come into his own at Fulham and has already bagged 11 goals (6 in the league) so far.
Match Facts & Stats
Saturday 9th January: Burnley (away) kick-off: 3pm