Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Tuesday October 2 2007
3rd October 2007
Stoke would like to repeat last year's 3-1 thrashing of West Brom at the Hawthorns on Wednesday night as they try to increase their current run to just one defeat in the last fifteen games. The Potters are unbeaten since the end of August, but have drawn more games than they probably would have liked, but they could join the Baggies on 16 points if they return victorious.
Released jailbird, Vincent Pericard believes the free world is a wonderful place after his five weeks in a Bristol jail. He told the Sentinel: 'Everything feels like new, I'm like a kid. I am not an emotional person, but I just want to hug anyone. I've never been so happy to be free. I am still dreaming I am out, I still cannot believe it. Since the first day inside, you dream about coming out.'
The Baggies expect to be able to field an unchanged side that beat QPR 5-1 on Saturday. There had been injury doubts over Zoltan Gera and Kevin Phillips but both are expected to be fit for the clash. Stoke fans will be looking out for former Potter, Carl Hoefkens who left the club at the start of this season for West Brom.
The striker scored two goals in the 5-1 rout of QPR at the Hawthorns last Saturday and the Potters' defence will need to be on their guard.
The injury situation at the Brit still looks bleak even though Mamady Sidibe has resumed training after injury kept him out of the Leicester trip on Saturday, but it is still not clear if he will play. Rory Delap is definitely out as he struggles back from a groin injury which could leave the door open for John Eustace to make his first league start of the season after impressing at the Walkers Stadium. Vincent Pericard could be on the bench after being released from prison - 'subject to Home Office approval'.
Serious injury kept Eustace off the football pitch for 18 months but being clear fit has found it hard to break back into the starting eleven, so, if he allowed to start, should relish this rare opportunity to impress in midfield.
The Potters did the double over Tony Mowbray's men last season, winning 1-0 at the Brit, followed by 3-1 at the Hawthorns.
Sat 6th October: Colchester (home) kick-off: 3pm
Sat 20th October: Sheffield United (home) kick-off: 3pm
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Date:Tuesday October 2 2007
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