Stoke City VS West Brom Prediction
Mark Hughes attracted some very interesting names from the continent (continental part of Europe) during the transfer window but Stoke City is still without a victory before the Saturday afternoon Premier League home fixture against West Bromwich Albion, which “Britannia Stadium” in Stoke-on-Trent is set to host.
And who except Tony Pulis knows this place better as the former Stoke City manager led “The Potters” in the period June 2006 – May 2013, is now in charge of “The Baggies” from West Bromwich. This will be a special moment for the Welsh manager who was replaced by another Welsh manager in the face of Mark Hughes who works hard over Stoke’s transformation, because it’s not a secret what associations most of the football fans have when they hear about Stoke City, which were created exactly in the Tony Pulis period. However, current Stoke City looks in completely different way and Mark Hughes aims to build completely different and battleworthy team, and as we can conclude from the latest signings who arrived on “Britannia Stadium”, Stoke City emphasizes on passes and on width in their attack, as “The Potters” are now far from the aggressive club which we knew from the very recent past. With names like Stephen Ireland, Marco van Ginkel, Ibrahim Afellay, Xherdan Shaqiri, Bojan Krkic we can easily confirm this and the good news for Mark Hughes are related with the name of Bojan Krkic, who returned after a knee injury which ruled him out from the half of season 2014-2015. However, the former Barcelona player returned on the pitch in the midweek League Cup visit in Luton, where “The Potters” had very difficult challenge against a “League Two” opposition – Luton Town, as Stoke City reached the next round after penalties.
West Bromwich had a very similar fate, but at home, when in Tuesday evening “The Baggies” met against Port Vale (from Football League One) and they also won after penalties, since the regular time on “The Hawthorns” ended without any goals.
Now both clubs are qualified for the next round where they will face against Fulham an Norwich City (both teams are guests) but first of all they must concentrate on their upcoming Premier League efforts, since they are still seeking their first three points.
Final conclusion, betting prediction and possible lineups of Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion – Barclays Premier League 29.08.2015
Stoke City have a slim advantage over their round four opposition as “The Potters” will enter in the fourth BPL round as number 15 in the standings, with 2 points after two consecutive draws. They both were away from home and the most impressive surely was the comeback which Stoke made in North London – against Tottenham. “Spurs” took a comfortable 2:0 lead but “The Potters” answered with two second half goals and they were even not far from making a full comeback, as the engine of that was Steven Ireland who came on the pitch as a substitution.
“The Baggies” are with only 1 point which they won in their previous visit – goalless draw vs Watford, while the other two results of WBA are two home losses – 0:3 vs Manchester City and the last round 2:3 defeat against Chelsea, for which they can regret because “The Blues” from London were with 10 men for more than 35 minutes, since John Terry was sent-off in the first minutes of the second half. However, Tony Pulis’ men failed to take advantage of the situation and they answered only once (result when Terry received the red card was 1:3) – James Morrison scored his second goal, though he also missed a penalty when the result was still 0:0.
Both managers have their own injury worries as Mark Hughes can’t count on the injured captain Ryan Shawcross and on the Nigerian striker Peter Odemwingie. However, Charlie Adam, Ibrahim Afellay and Stephen Ireland are all great options for the position behind the striker, for where is expected Mame Biram Diouf to start once again as the Senegalese striker is the leading scorer of Stoke City so far – 2 goals in the last 2 Premier League rounds.
Tony Pulis will have to deal without the injured goalie Ben Foster but Boaz Myhill looks like a decent option and now that’s not such a big issue for “The Throstles”. Salomon Rondon is still looking for his first goal after he made the Premier League move, coming from the Russian Premier League, and we expect the Venezuelan striker to lead WBA’s attack again, perhaps on Saido Berahino’s expense. Berahino is linked with a possible move in the last days of the transfer window as the English youngster is object of Tottenham’s interest, considering the latest rumours. This may affect to the youngster and we think that Tony Pulis realizes this very well, so he may leave Berahino on the bench.
Nonetheless, our expectations are that Stoke City will manage to earn its first three points in the new season – home win.
Possible starting lineups:
Stoke City: Butland – Johnson, Cameron, Muniesa, Pieters – Ginkel, Adam – Shaqiri, Ireland, Arnautovic – Diouf. (4-2-3-1)
WBA: Myhill – Dawson, Olsson, McAuley, Chester – Yacob – McManaman, Morrison, Fletcher, Gnabry – Rondon. (4-1-4-1)
Referee: Michael Oliver.