Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Friday January 7 2011
Saturday 8th January
The FA Cup starts tomorrow for the top two divisions with the third round and we've got a tempting tie with Cardiff. The Bluebirds were always one of those fixtures that many Stoke fans used to relish when we were in the same league and they're now flying high in the Championship this season and so will provide a stiff test at the Brit.
The Pulis family have feet in both camps as Cardiff was the club he supported as a youngster, but you can sure that our Tone will still be desperate for Stoke to win, despite having his extended family making the trip up from South Wales.
TP has promised that he'll be ringing the changes after the hectic Christmas period and with so many fringe players desperate to play. Expect to see the likes of Glenn Whelan, Thomas Sorensen, Abdy Faye and Danny Higginbotham all start, but he's still likely to include several regular first-teamers to ensure that we've got enough to get into the hat for the fourth round draw. If Eidur Gudjohnsen doesn't get a chance it shows that the writing is on the wall for the Icelandic international.
Difficult to guess who may play, but here's my tuppence's worth: Sorensen, Higginbotham, Faye, Huth, Wilkinson, Walters, Wilson, Whelan, Delap, Jones, Fuller.
Bound to be wrong...!
Dave Jones has some injury problems to key players including Jay Bothroyd (hamstring), Michael Chopra (ankle), Craig Bellamy (ongoing knee problem) which makes them early doubts
The Beast joined the Bluebirds last week after a £100,000 move from relegation threatened Preston. He was top scorer there with seven goals, but with only six months left on his contract, PNE were keen to make some money out of the former Potter.
Saturday 15th January: Bolton (home) kick-off: 3pm
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Date:Friday January 7 2011
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