Well I’ve only just recovered from my Brighton jollies only to get back on the road just 5 days later. Indeed games are now coming thick and fast as we enter a critical few weeks of the season.
It is also another long journey, this time to South London to play Crystal Palace. Google maps advises the quickest road journey to be some 176 miles taking 4 hours and 13 mins via the M4. Obviously the free official coaches are the best value but if you can afford it, I would recommend the train. Stoke to London Euston (1 hr 30 mins), the underground to Victoria (using the Victoria Line (blue) – 15 mins), before catching another train to either Selhurst, Thornton Heath or Norwood Junction (15 mins).
Looking forward to our match with Palace this weekend we spoke to Sam from The Eagles Beak.
1. Going into this current season, we’re you excited with de Boer at the helm?
A. It was great. We had a legendary former Dutch international in charge, a disciple of Johan Cruyff’s ‘total football’ methods. We were promised a more aesthetic style of football and a summer overhaul. We were going the whole season unbeaten and de Boer was already on course to have his own statue in the car park outside the main stand. We got ahead of ourselves.
Monday 20th November 2017 – Brighton and Hove Albion v Stoke City.
Since gaining promotion from the Championship last season Brighton will be delighted with their start to life in the Premier League. They currently sit in 8th position having amassed 15 points from their first 11 fixtures. Their gaffer Chris Hughton is clearly doing a great job as they look to add to their current 4 game unbeaten run.
A player to watch is a 34 year old centre forward called Glenn Murray who has netted 4 times in the last 3 games – his last coming in a 1-0 away victory at Swansea. Having watched Brighton destroy West Ham recently (on Sky) at the Olympic Stadium, they appear very well organised defensively and are clearly grafting hard as a team. We will certainly need to be on our game if we are to come away with a positive result.
It’s back, it’s been a long summer but the Premier League finally gets underway. The opening weekend sees us going up against Everton at Goodison Park.
Everton were active during the summer in regards to transfers. Their star man Lukaku was sold to Manchester United for £90 million and Gerard Deulofeu returned to Barcalona for £10.5 million. Losing these two attacking players shouldn’t hinder Everton too much, in the long-run, as the return of Wayne Rooney and purchase of Dutch legend, Davy Klassen should provide an opportunity for Everton to change to a new tactic and style.
Lukaku scored 25 goals for Everton last season, with Ross Barkley coming in second with only 5. The loss of his services will be felt during the first weeks of the season. Meaning Stoke should capitalize on a loss of fluidity for Everton. However, the recent signing of Jordan Pickford, from Sunderland for £30 million, will provide Everton with the chance to concede less goals than in the previous campaign.
Well we’re back. It may not be competitive but Stoke are back on the pitch for preseason.
The lads have headed to Switzerland for a training camp ahead of the 17/18 season. Fans will be watching the preseason closely after what was a disappointing end to last season. With new arrivals and players leaving, Mark Hughes needs to build a squad that’s able to compete for a Europa League spot and make sure our pre-season effectively finishes before the season starts, and not one month in.
We are facing Neuchatel Xamax at the Tissot Arena, for those not being able to travel, Stoke will be live streaming the game on their website.
Well it’s here, the final game of the season. We travel south to St. Mary’s Stadium to face Southampton.
Ending what has been a disappointing season, to say the least, will be a relief for many Stoke fans as the calls for Hughes’ head intensifies. The Potters find themselves sitting in a low 14th and a win can only push them to 11th, with that also depending on the results of the teams above in the table. Mark has failed to any achieve his objectives and the minimum expectations of the fans.
This weekend see’s Stoke host Arsenal at the Bet 365 Stadium for the final home game of the season. Kick-off will be at 5:30pm due to the game being televised. Arsenal did Stoke a favour in their mid-week fixture, by beating Southampton 2-0 at St. Mary’s Stadium.
Goals from Alexis Sanchez and Oliver Giroud helped the Gunners move closer to a top five finish, ahead of Manchester United. With Arsenal having one extra fixture to play in the league, against Sunderland, this could prove helpful as a mid-week game at this stage of the competition could lead to one or two important players being rested for future games.
This weekend we host the Hammers at the Bet365.
West Ham are currently lying in 14th place, just only one point behind Stoke. The last time the two sides met at the London Stadium, it finished 1-1. With Glen conceding an own goal, and Bojan equalizing.
This weekend we’re heading to Swansea to face the Swans at the Liberty City Stadium.
Swansea are currently in the relegation zone, two points from safety. With only five games left this season, the Swans are fighting for their place in the Premier League next season and feeling the pressure. With Swansea manager, Paul Clement calling the match a ‘must-win’ immediately following their defeat to Watford. He went further to say it’s Swansea’s biggest match since the play-off final in 2011.
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%.