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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Stoke City vs. Blackburn Rovers

Britannia Stadium

Saturday 2nd October 2010

3pm

Potters vs Rovers preview

Stoke will be looking to build on their win over Newcastle last Sunday with the arrival of Sam Allardyce's Rovers team at the Brit.

Last weekend, Blackburn turned in their first win since a 1-0 win against Everton on the opening day of the season when they visited Blackpool but they did leave it until the dying seconds of added on time to clinch the winner and they'll be hoping that they can also move on up the table.

But the omens are not good for the visitors as they've yet to earn a point or even score a goal at the Brit since the Potters arrived in the Premier League.

Vital Quotes:

TP certainly has more quality at his disposal than at any time since he first arrived at the Brit in 2002. The difficulty now for the manager is how does he best use them and keep everyone happy and content at the same time.

'We have more game changers than we have had since I've been at the football club, which is what you need. The squad is vital. It's not the eleven you pick each week, it's the squad that takes you through'

Stoke City Team News:

Ric Fuller may be a surprise addition to the squad after he dislocated his shoulder just six days ago but, even if fit, is likely to have to take his place on the bench. Jermaine Pennant is still struggling with a hamstring injury, but could be a late inclusion in the starting eleven. Andy Wilkinson picked up a knee injury last Sunday and may have to make way for Abdy Faye.

Player to watch: Matthew Etherington

Matty has continued last season's award winning form into this term and been regularly terrorising the opposition. He set up both goals last weekend and is proving to be one of TP's shrewdest buys since we got promoted.

Blackburn Rovers Team News:

Influential midfielder, David Dunn is injured along with Vince Grella, but striker Jason Roberts and midfielder Keith Andrews have returned after being sidelined with hamstring and groin injuries respectively.

Player to watch: Mame Diouf

Money is tight in the Lancashire hills with a new owner still to arrive at Ewood Park and so Allardyce has had to go to into the loan market to get some new blood. But he hasn't done too badly with Diouf. The Senegal international is on loan from Manchester United and has already notched up four goals - even if three of them were in the Carling Cup.

Match Facts & Stats

Ref Watch:

This will be Howard Webb's first visit to the Brit since he refereed the World Cup Final.

Next Fixtures:

Saturday 16th October: Bolton (away) kick-off: 3pm
Sunday 24th October: Man United (home) kick-off: 1.30pm




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The Journalist

Writer: Chris Baldwin Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday October 1 2010

Time: 9:12PM

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