Writer: Lloyd Reddin
Date:Thursday February 21 2013
23rd February 2013
Stoke City are set to travel to the capital to face Martin Jol`s Fulham at Craven Cottage in a mid-table clash.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis looks set to recall Marc Wilson, who has not featured for the Potters since breaking his leg in Stoke`s fixture against Sunderland in October 2012.
Pulis could also hand a debut to American Brek Shea, which would see a completely new left hand side for the Potters.
Both Shea and Wilson have played in and came through unscathed Stoke`s recent reserve fixtures in the past few weeks and it wouldn`t be a surprise if both were to start at the Cottage.
The Potters are coming into this televised fixture sitting in 10th in league off the back of a 2-1 victory against Reading a fortnight ago, whilst hosts Fulham sit 12th in the league and could move to within one point of Stoke with a victory.
Last time out Fulham played out a goalless draw with Norwich at Carrow Road.
Tony Pulis on Wilson and Shea: "We are desperate to get Marc playing again and he needs to play.
'I think Brek has had nearly three or four months out with injury and so this is like a pre-season for him. He's a fit lad, but whether we start with him or not on Saturday remains to be seen"
Jon Walters on Stoke`s poor away record: "'I didn't realise the away record was that bad.
'It would be something nice to improve on. Well, we can only improve on it really."
Martin Jol on the possible return of Simon Davies: "I can't remember him playing it was so long ago.
'It`s very pleasing that he's back because I wanted to involve him."
Simon Davies is set to return for the Cottagers after fully recovering from two injury plagued years. The midfielder has only played 7 games in the last two seasons.
The Lilywhites have not lost a game when Berbatov has scored (W3,D3). The Bulgarian can create something out of nothing and he can turn the game on its head all by himself. Stoke`s defenders will have to keep a close eye on the striker if they are to get anything from Craven Cottage.
Marc Wilson is set to return at left back, whilst Brek Shea could be handed a debut. Jerome has seemed to have shaken off a knock and will take his place on the bench, whilst Owen seems to be out with another injury.
If Shea is handed his debut, he could be Stoke`s player to watch. The American international is somewhat of an unknown entity in the Premier League, and if he has half of what some people say, then he could light up the left wing for Stoke at the Cottage.
Have only won three of their last 18 games in the Premier League (W3 D7 L8)
Have only clawed back four points from losing positions this season
Have only won one away this season
Have only scored three goals in their last eight away games
Have gone eight games since a clean sheet
Last four meeting between the pair has been won by the home side
Stoke won the return fixture 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium in November.
This will be the third match Probert has refereed for Fulham, the most recent being Fulham`s last win, a 2-1 victory at Wigan. Probert also officiated in Fulham`s 3-1 home defeat to Sunderland, where he also sent off Brede Hangeland for the Cottagers, his only red card of the season. The Wiltshire Association referee has yet to officiate a Stoke game so far this season. Probert has officiated in 16 Premier League games this season, showing 48 yellow cards and 1 red card.
2-2 The games between these two are normally a close and scrappy affair, but with the TV cameras at the Cottage, it could be a little bit more entertaining with a few goals for either side.
Fulham- (Away) Sunderland (2nd March)
Stoke- (Home) West Ham United (2nd March)
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Date:Thursday February 21 2013
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