Writer: Chris Baldwin
Date:Friday October 26 2007
27th October 2007
Bristol City start as slight favourites after only losing one game in the league this season and currently sit in 2nd place after beating Southampton at Ashton Gate on Wednesday night. Stoke, though, bounced back from last Saturday's defeat to win convincingly at Palace in midweek and both teams will be relishing this week's battle.
Potters' coach and former Robins' player, Mark O'Connor told the Sentinel that Tony Pulis was relishing the trip back to the club he managed for a short while in 1999, but isn't expecting a warm welcome. 'I think he will be disappointed if he didn't get any stick. It's water off a duck's back. They weren't that pleasant to him when he was manager there, so I wouldn't think they will be now he's going back as Stoke City manager.'
City have done amazingly well since their promotion at the end of last season but will definitely be without their captain, Louis Carey who sustained a broken nose on Wednesday and midfielder David Noble will face a fitness test after injuring his leg in the same match.
The journeyman striker has now landed up at Ashton Gate after signing up to a one year deal after leaving Millwall, but has hit the ground running with four goals in four games.
Stoke will be missing Richard Cresswell as he is suspended for one game after picking up his fifth yellow card last Saturday. Mama Sidibe is still out with his arm injury sustained during crowd violence in Mali's last international. Ricardo Fuller should be fit after being taken off on Tuesday with an ankle injury. Vincent Pericard will feature in some role as Pulis will need to decide whether to start with Jon Parkin or Pericard alongside Fuller.
The Stoke defence will need to be on their toes and players such as Gaby and Ryan Shawcross have shown that their youth and relative inexperience can sometimes cause problems, but on the whole they've been outstanding this season.
The last meeting between the two teams at Ashton Gate was way back in April 2002 in a 1-1 draw with the Potters' goal coming from Andy Cooke.
Sat 3rd November: Coventry City (home) kick-off: 3pm
Tue 6th November: Scun.thorpe (away) kick-off: 7.45pm
Sat 10th November: Sheffield United (home) kick-off: 3pm
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Date:Friday October 26 2007
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