Preview: Stoke City vs. Hull City
This weekend we host Hull City at the Bet365 Stadium.
The Tigers currently lie in 17th, only two points above the relegation zone. They come into this game after a 3-1 beating to Manchester City. They’ve won three in the last five and are looking in better shape since Silva took the managerial position. Stoke are on a 4-loss losing streak at the moment, and will look to turn things around this weekend.
Hull have picked up an average of 0.31 points on the road this season, and their recent away form hasn’t looked much better. The last four losses for Hull have all been on away days. They’ve lost 81% of away games, compare that to our 31%.
The last time the two sides met, it resulted in a 2-0 away win for Stoke. In the last five previous encounters, Stoke won three and drew two.
Stoke aren’t doing too well either. We’ve lost four on the trot and Hughes has lost a sizeable segment of the fan base. We are now 13th, eight points from relegation. 18 points from his target of 7th, one point from 10th. Hull is a must win game for Stoke, if Mark Hughes wants to prove he’s still the man for the job.
Keane got his first England cap recently, but he’s sidelined for the foreseeable future following an ACL knee injury. Their lead goal scorer, Snodgrass, is also out, on account of his transfer in West Ham in January.
Stoke have a few injuries, Allen is doubtful due to a Hamstring injury, Afellay is out with a knee inury. He is expected to return by May 21st, end of the season. Walters could be back this weekend, but it will be down to a late fitness test.
Coates was on the radio this week. He refused to talk about the possible sacking of Hughes, but also didn’t give him his backing. Mark will no doubt be feeling the pressure as he attempts to grind out some results to finish strong.
Some good news for Stoke fans is that Jack Butland is rumored to be available for the bench. At this point in the season, should we re-introduce Butland into the starting XI?
Let us know on Twitter or Facebook
By Bentio Fisher
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