Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Monday August 7 2006
8th August 2006
The first Midlands derby of the season and the Potters' first home game sees Derby County making the short trip up the A50 to the Brit.
Tony Pulis has spoken about his one-to-one training session with Sammy Bangoura on Sunday. He told the official site: 'For whatever reason he was away Sammy is now back at the football club, he'll have every opportunity to prove himself and if he can get himself fit and sharp, he will be given a chance.
It's water under the bridge now, but he is five weeks behind the rest of the lads so it will be a challenge for me to get him up to their level.
I took him out running for half an hour yesterday, we did some weights and he was fine - I got on well with him, his English is actually better than I expected.'
With the Potters' lack of a decent goalmaker and the £950,000 invested in him - it's probably for the best...
Stoke start the game on the back foot after a game of missed chances and a 1-0 defeat on the Essex coast at the weekend with both Luke Chadwick and Peter Sweeney afterwards ending up in a Southend hospital. The Potters should be ready to make amends for a game of missed chances and the first opportunity to impress the Stoke faithful after less than impressive home performances last season.
Stoke will still be without Sammy Bangoura, who is far from match fit but Tony Pulis appears to have let bygones be bygones after meeting the AWOL striker for the first time on Sunday. Luke Chadwick and Peter Sweeney are still doubtful, but Sweeney`s broken wrist appears not to be as bad as first feared, so could start if the doctors agree.
Stoke fans will be watching new boys, Vincent Pericard and Danny Higginbotham in their first home game.
Derby started their season with a 2-2 draw at home to Southampton as they managed to retrieve a point with a late goal from one-time Stoke player, Paul Peschisolido. The Rams will probably field the same team as played on Sunday, with the possible inclusion of new signing Matt Oakley who watched the game from the subs` bench.
The U18 England international midfielder broke into the first team squad last season and is expected to be one of the stars at Pride Park this season.
Over the past eleven years the Potters have played the Rams seven times at home with the Potters just edging it with three wins against two defeats and two draws.
Mark Clattenberg. Premiership refs always seem to cause the Potters problems at the Brit. Let's hope that one has a good game this time.
Saturday 12th August: Birmingham City (home) kick-off 12.30pm (Sky TV)
Saturday 19th August: Luton Town (away) kick-off 3pm
Tuesday 22nd August: League Cup - Darlington (home) kick-off 7:45pm
Date:Monday August 7 2006
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