Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Friday September 15 2006
Burnley visit the Britannia on Saturday with former Stoke manager, Steve Cotterill and his troupe of former Potters players. The Clarets are riding high in the league and will be boosted by the 4-2 win over Barnsley in mid-week in which Gifton Noel Williams came off the bench to score a hat-trick, but everyone knows that this game is more about recent history than recent form.
Even Tony Pulis agrees that this has the makings of a good game: 'It's a spicy encounter', he told the official site and enviously admitted 'Steve's had three years at Burnley to put together a side which he would think can contend with the top ten'
Vincent Pericard is ruled out with a hamstring injury picked up in midweek, but whether latest goal scorer, Martin Paterson gets the nod will depend on whether Pulis thinks new signing, Ricardo Fuller is ready to pull on his new Stoke shirt.
It's also 'wait and see' as to whether Andy Griffin will again be favoured ahead of fellow defender, Carl Hoefkens who has started the last two games on the bench. One player most unlikely to feature is Sam Bangoura as chairman, Peter Coates said he was happy for him to 'rot in the reserves' rather than sell him on the cheap.
More of a 'position to watch' this week as fans wait to see who Pulis will play alongside Mamade Sidibe up front.
Cotterill will take a late look at several players before naming his starting eleven, but Alan Mahon is an early doubt .
The former Potters striker will be looking to convince the manager and fans alike that his hat-trick in mid-week was no fluke after struggling to claim a first team spot. Stoke fans will be hoping it was just that....
Honours were shared last season as Stoke won 1-0 at the Brit , thanks to a Paul Gallagher goal, having lost earlier in the season by the same margin (and an Akinbiyi goal) up at Turf Moor.
Should be a close run game, but the Potters will run out 1-0 victors.
Saturday 23rd Sept: Wolves (away) Kick-off: 3pm
Saturday 30th Sept: Preston (home) Kick-off: 3pm
Saturday 14th Oct: Leeds (away) Kick-off: 3pm
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Date:Friday September 15 2006
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