Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Tuesday March 9 2010
10th March 2010
So after the excitment of the cup it's back to the day job of reaching that magical 40 point mark and our rearranged match against the Premier League new boys.
It may have been a comfortable 2-0 win in the first match of the season at the Brit but, much like the Potters, the Clarets are a different proposition at home and they're right in the drop zone and fighting for their survival.
As you'd expect Big Tone is warning against any complacency for the visit to deepest Lancashire:
'Their home games will be like cup finals, just as they were for us here at the Britannia Stadium last season when we needed the points to climb to safety,' said Pulis. 'So, we know it's going to be a very tough match for us and therefore we have to show the right attitude.
The Clarets had a reasonable first few months, but the departure of Owen Coyle to Bolton was a big blow and even their home form, which saw them earn victories over Man Utd and Everton, may not be enough to keep them up.
Steven Fletcher has a broken hand but will have a late fitness test to assess whether he can play.
Midfielder Chris McCann is back in training after a knee injury but the game will come too soon for him.
Stoke fans will be keen to see how Leon Cort is getting on alongside Martin Paterson after his move north in January.
Although a born and bred Stokie, Pato has gone from strength to strength since leaving the Potters in 2007 and was a key player in their successful promotion last season. But a knee injury and cartilage surgery curtailed his involvement in the Premier League and he's only just come back into the side.
Ryan Shawcross is suspended for his second match. Glenn Whelan is a major worry after he was forced off in the Chelsea match with a hamstring injury. James Beattie and Salif Diao were unavailable for Saturday's match after picking up knee and calf injuries respectively and are doubtful. Matty Etherington and Danny Higginbotham are still struggling to regain full fitness.
He should regain the captain's armband after temporarily letting Robert Huth get the limelight for the return to his old club last weekend. Faye could also do with regaining some of that skill and full blooded defending that characterised his first season for the Potters.
Saturday 13th March: Aston Villa (home) kick-off: 3pm
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Date:Tuesday March 9 2010
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