Stoke v Sunderland: Match Preview
Seven games have been played so far this season and Stoke and Sunderland are the only sides not to have found a win at this stage before they face off on Saturday at the Bet365 Stadium.
The last time Stoke got all three points against Sunderland in the Premier League was back in 2013, both teams will be desperate to leave the Bet 365 with smiles on their faces.
The Potters and the Black Cats find themselves in 19th and 20th position respectively, the likelihood of being last on Match of the Day is high, and have only managed 11 goals between them over 14 games. Goals will likely be at a premium in this one.
It is ten years since Rory Delap signed for Stoke, having previously played for our opponents, and although the playing style may have changed since his time on the pitch, this one could be a scrappy affair.
Kick Off: Saturday @ 15:00
Odds (as of 12:00 Friday): Stoke City – Evens, Draw – 13/5, Sunderland – 3/1
Last Time Out: Stoke City 1 Sunderland 1
Similar to Stoke, Sunderland went into the international break with a draw. Patrick Van Aanholt scored late on to end a run of three straight defeats and cancel out Nacer Chadli’s earlier effort for West Brom. This is David Moyes’ first job back in the Premier League since being Manchester United manager and if Sunderland can’t get a result this weekend we could see many asking for Moyes’ short tenure as boss to come to an end.
Lamine Kone and Jason Denayer are doubtful for Saturday’s game, with Lee Cattermole and Steven Pienaar ruled out. Vito Mannone, Seb Larsson, Jan Kirchhoff, Adnan Januzaj and Fabio Borini remain sidelined. This is an injury list that might make some Stoke fans feel better about our current situation.
Stoke Injury News
Mark Hughes revealed a devastating blow at his press conference on Friday morning, revealing that Glenn Johnson would miss the next month of football. Johnson had been recalled into the England squad after a number of promising performances but has once again been struck down by injury.
Joe Allen, who missed Wales’ second qualifying game in the week due to injury, could yet start for Stoke in this important clash.
Mark Hughes said: “Joe Allen remains doubtful, but we are hopeful on him, as I said yesterday.”
Ones to watch
Fantasy football favourite, Jermain Defoe, will be the likely source of goals for the visitors and for Stoke it will probably be Wilfried Bony, who has flattered to deceive so far this term, who will hope to get the back of the net rippling in the Potteries.
Marko Arnautovic and Xherdan Shaqiri came back to Staffordshire after successful international breaks. Especially Arnie who single-handedly saved a draw for Austria against the plucky Welsh by scoring twice.
Bojan, who isn’t currently involved in the Spanish set up, also found the back of the net as he played in a Game for Peace in Italy. The Spaniard will be hoping, alongside many of the fans, that he returns to the starting XI in this vital fixture.
Tom: 3-1 (Bojan hat-trick)
Ben Rowley: 1-0
Preview written by Ben Cartwright, let me know your predictions: @bajcartwright on Twitter
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