Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Friday October 15 2010
Saturday 16th October
Stoke return to league action this weekend with a mouth-watering away fixture at Bolton Wanderers. The Potters will be taking around 4,500 fans with them to the Reebok - Bolton's highest away attendance so far this season and hovering around the same number that made the trip to Blackburn two years ago - and that was when the club had offering us free coach travel.
There's no doubt why so many are looking forward to a good day out - Stoke are now unbeaten since that 2-0 defeat at Chelsea at the back end of August and that's seen us scramble up from the depths of the league to the lofty heights of 7th place. That's not to say we're complacent - far from it. We all know Bolton will be a very stiff test having held Man United to a 2-2 draw in their last home tie, which means that it's all the more important that we're there to support the lads.
Owen Coyle has steadied the ship at the Reebok and got the players working for the manager again. Gary Megson's sacking last season after which the former Trotters' player jumped ship from nearby Burnley. England's latest cap, Kevin Davies, is the only doubt from the side that drew at West Brom two weeks ago.
Bolton fans will be rightly proud that Davies earned his first England cap in the bore draw against Montenegro in midweek. His second half introduction did create some useful chances which the likes of Rooney failed to take advantage of. Hopefully, the ankle injury he picked up may mean that he's not as sharp on Saturday - if he plays.
Thomas Sorensen is officially a doubt after picking up a muscle strain during the Danes' international against Portugal last week, but the club seem hopeful that he'll be fit.
Fast becoming the fans' number one favourite. We just need more of the same from the Trinidad international and some luck that he'll stay fully fit.
We can all remember our first ever game in the Premier League when we went down 3-1 at the Reebok just over two years ago. Stage fright seemed to strike the team and we were 3-0 down before we knew it and had to rely on Ricardo Fuller to give us something to cheer about in the final seconds.
Sunday 24th Oct: Man United (home) kick-off: 1.30pm
Date:Friday October 15 2010
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|Professional Stoke ease past Sheff Wed into League Cup Semi
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