Stoke vs Birmingham preview
Tuesday 9th November
For the past few weeks, I've said that I hoped that we won't be talking about the referee and each week I've been proved wrong. But this very boring topic really has to stop sometime so maybe, just maybe, we will not be talking about it again this week....
This has to be the time that Potters' fans will be that famous 12th man that has earned us so many memorable wins at the Brit over the past two seasons and never has there been a better time for the team and fans to pull together.
Dean Whitehead certainly hopes so when he spoke to the official site: 'I can't wait to be back at the Britannia Stadium to be honest with you,' he told stokecityfc.com. 'We have been on the road quite a lot recently, so it will be fantastic for us to come back home with our supporters right behind us.
'Things haven't gone too well recently for one reason or another, but we have got to stand strong, stay together and come through this difficult patch.
'Our supporters are unbelievably good, and we need them to be on their absolute A-game on Tuesday night. We are desperate to go out there and get the three points, and with their support I am fully confident of doing that.'
Stoke City Team News:
Ryan Shawcross faces a one match ban after his two yellow cards on Saturday, other than that and barring any injury niggles, Tony Pulis will be able to choose from the same squad that made the trip to the North East.
Player to watch: Kenwyne Jones
We were warned that consistency is not Kenwyne's forte when he joined in August and his dip in form has coincided with the team's as a whole so a return to goal-scoring form would be a timely lift.
Birmingham Team News:
Birmingham nearly came a cropper against West Ham but came back from a two goal deficit to snatch a point at the weekend. Those two goals boosted their goal tally to six in the last eight games and they seem to be also failing to fire on all cylinders with just 3 wins in the last 21 league matches.
Player to watch: Ben Foster
The former Stoke academy player joined Man United in 2005 for a tidy £1m. His subsequent good stint on loan at Watford earned him many plaudits and he was tipped for great things. Injury and the failure to break into United's starting eleven meant that he's now looking to rebuild his reputation as a reliable first choice stopper and potential England keeper with his move to Birmingham in the summer.
Match Facts & Stats
Mark Clattenberg - 'nough said....!
Saturday 13th November: Liverpool (home) kick-off: 5.30pm (live on ESPN)
Saturday 20th November: West Brom (away) kick-off: 3pm