Match Preview: Stoke v Swansea – Halloween Edition
Stoke will look to continue to rise from the dead as they look for their third consecutive Premier League win, with Swansea standing in their way on a dark and (probably not) stormy Halloween night in the Potteries. With eight point in the last four matches, Stoke have certainly turned a corner following a frightful start to the season and, with coming up against a team that have tallied two points in their last eight league games, you’d have thought that Stoke will look to creep their way back up the league. Although the team’s general performances have improved, Stoke’s resurgence has been thanks to some spellbinding individual performances, for example: Lee Grant against Manchester United, Joe Allen’s remarkable goal-scoring run and Xherdan Shaqiri’s enchanting performance against Hull. Swansea will be looking to end their nightmare start to the campaign having not won a game since the opening day of the season; this might be easier said than done, with Swansea winning just three of their ten Premier League meetings with Stoke.
Kick Off: Monday 31/10/16 @ 20:00 – Live on Sky Sports MNF
Match Odds (as of night before): H: 21/20 – D:13/5 – A: 14/5
Last Season: 2-2 (I Afellay, Bojan; G Sigurdsson, A Paloschi)
Phil Bardsley is expected to miss the game following permission for him to take personal leave following the dreadful family affairs last week. Geoff Cameron is also a doubt for the game having hyperextended his knee in training midweek. Both of these possible absences leave problems at both right back and central midfield. With possibly no natural right back fit at Stoke, Marc Muniesa may be forced to play out of position and make his first start of the season. Meanwhile, the likes of Bojan and Giannelli Imbula have been waiting in the wings ever since they both have been dropped from the starting XI; the latter being a more like-for-like switch, however with Imbula missing out of the entire 18 man squad the last couple of weeks – and Bojan’s recent record against the Swans – Hughes may opt to go for the Catalonian. Joe Allen and Wilfried Bony are both expected to start against their former club with the Ivorian looking for his first Premier League goal for Stoke.
Predicted XI: (4,2,3,1) Grant, Cameron (if fit), Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters; Whelan, Allen; Shaqiri, Bojan, Arnautovic; Bony.
Ones to Watch
Stoke – Xherdan Shaqiri: a scintillating performance against Hull will surely have the Swansea defence trembling in their boots. Two spectacular goals and some unholy link-up play will means that the Swiss magician will surely be the key for the Potters to get their efforts on goal.
Swansea – Leroy Fer: four league goals this season for the Dutchman seems to be one of few highlights for the Welsh outfit this year, could he be the man to unlock a recently tight Stoke defence?
Spook City – A Halloween XI
As a special treat,the tricksters at The Bear Pit TV have come up with a special spooky squad for you all to enjoy: if you’ve got a favourite, or if you’ve got any better suggestions, let us know on social media!
GK: Jack o’Lantern Butand
RB: Ghoul-en Johnson
CB: Geoff Cauldron
CB: Ryan Scarecross
LB: Erik R.I.Pieters
CM: Gianelli Im-boo-la
CM: Ibrahim Afterllife
CM: Bojan Curseic
RW: Xherdan Shockiri
ST: Werewolfried Bony
LW: Marko Ar-nightmare-ovic
Bruno Martins Imp-di
Ryan Sweeney Todd
Written by Ben Rowley
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