Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Friday April 15 2011
Sunday 17th April 2011
This is it! The FA Cup semi-finals are upon us and all us Stokies will be hoping that this isn't the only visit to the home of English football this season and that we're back in London on May 14th.
34,000 Stokies will be intent on making Wembley as good as the Brit for the day. There's no doubt that you're isn't much between the two teams and it should be a tight affair
Tony Pulis told the BBC that he's sure that the fans will play a massive part in recreating that 'Brit atmosphere'. 'It should be the same as the Britannia, but only louder', he told Radio Stoke's John Acres.
Bolton's on-loan striker, Daniel Sturridge is cup-tied after he scored two goals in the 7-0 romp for Chelsea against Ipswich in the FA Cup just before his move north.
The veteran striker has been the Trotters' talisman since 2003 in much the same way as Ric Fuller has at Stoke over the past few years. Now 34 years old, he can still pack a punch and his nine goals in all competitions is testament to his ability.
Danny Higginbotham is the big disappointment after picking up a cruciate injury which has ruled him out until after the start of next season. John Carew could be back after overcoming back problems, but may have to take his place on the bench with TP likely to continue with Kenwyne Jones and Jon Walters. up-front. Thomas Sorensen is certain of a return to cup goal keeping duties and the manager may decide to bring Asmir Begovic in as back-up in preference to Carlo Nash.
What are the odds on Ricardo Fuller coming off the bench with 10 minutes to go and the score at 1-1 to score the winner in the 92nd minute!? Wembley will never have seen anything like it.
Every Stokie under a certain age was brought up on the tales of those infamous FA Cup semi-final defeats at the hands of Arsenal in 1971 and 1972. Here's a chance to put those stories to rest.
Saturday 23rd April: Aston Villa (away) kick-off: 3pm
Tuesday 26th April: Wolves (home) kick-off: 7.45pm
Date:Friday April 15 2011
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