Stoke City v Hull City Preview – EFL Cup
A hugely important cup tie sees two Premier League sides, with drastically different aims come together in the Potteries. Hull we simply be aiming to avoid any injuries to first team players, whilst Stoke are in desperate need of a victory to kick start the season. Hardly the most glamourous of cup ties, the football on show may not be the most exciting as Stoke focus on trying to remain tight at the back due to recent vulnerability. Phelan has yet to finalise his contract as permanent manager at Hull and reports are suggesting a successful result will secure the role for him. Most would argue Stoke need the result more and hopefully this can force the Potters to claim a positive result.
Kick Off: Tonight @ 20:00
Odds (as of 12:45): Stoke 17/20, Draw 13/5, Hull 15/4
Last Time Out: Stoke City 1 [Crouch] Hull City 0
The Opposition – LDLWW
Hull are widely expected to make vast rotation, and interim manager Mike Phelan has said just as much in his pre-match conference. A mixture of youth players and new signings are expected to make up the majority of the Tigers side, as current first team members are rested. Much like Stoke, Hull have failed to claim a victory since their win in the last round of this very competition, whilst they also lost their last match 4-1, at home to Arsenal. Hull began the season positively with two hard fought victories, but have not found the same form in their more recent fixtures. With a long relegation battle ahead of them they may not be overly focused on cup progression.
Stoke – LLLWL
After returning to first team training at the beginning of the week there is a suggestion that Xherdan Shaqiri could make his first appearance since the opening day of the season. Despite this, local media are suggestion Charlie Adam and Peter Crouch will be called upon to try and change the tide for the Potters. Both Ramadan Sobhi and Marc Muniesa were left out of the match day squad at Crystal Palace to do extra work for this fixture, so both will be expected to start. Finally, after reaching national media coverage there is hope that it will finally be time to #DeployNgoy as the movement grows ever stronger.
Predicted Starting XI (442): Grant; Bardsley, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Muniesa; Walters, Adam, Whelan, Sobhi; Crouch, Bony
Ones to Watch
Ryan Mason – After making his England debut in March 2015 Mason’s career has truly stagnated. Having struggled with injury Mason dropped down the pecking order at Spurs and only made 8 starts all season. But he has been given a chance to restore his career with a club record move to Hull. A nailed on starter for this match it will be interesting to see how the former Spurs man can start this new chapter in his career.
Ramadan Sobhi – Still awaiting his first competitive start, the entire nation of Egypt is begging to see their man shine in English football. With poor showings from most wingers in the side Sobhi has a chance to steal a place in the squad against West Brom, but he will only do so if he can live up to his hype. Stoke need a lift and a good performance from this mercurial Egyptian will certainly provide it.
Elliot: 2-1 Stoke
Tom H: 1-1 Stoke to win on penalties
Tom T: 3-0 Stoke
Ben: 4-4 Hull to win on penalties
Mitch: 4-0 Hull
Written by Tom Thrower
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