Date: 20th October 2009 at 9:03pm
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Mamady Sidibe played his first match for nearly seven months in last night’s goalless reserve clash against Aston Villa after recovering from a cruciate ligament injury.

The Potters’ striker came through the game well but had to be substituted late on after getting a dead leg and he’s hopeful of a swift return to first team action, targeting next Tuesday’s Carling Cup match at Portsmouth for a chance to start.

If fit, it’s likely to be a good opportunity for Big Mama to get some much needed match fitness, more problematic is how he can slot back into a Stoke front line that already has more than it’s fair share of players jostling for a starting position.

James Beattie and Ricardo Fuller had, controversally, been TP’s first choice strike partnership for the last two matches but had no goals between them before last Saturday. They redeemed themselves (and the manager’s decison) with Beatt’s two goals and an inspiring performance from Ric who set up the second goal and should have had at least one of his own.

Dave Kitson is our top scorer so far with three (two in the League and one in the Cup) but has still found himself on the bench more times than he’s started this season. Tuncay is desperate for his first Premier League start since signing for the Potters at the end of August, but all that Tony Pulis has promised him is that ‘his time will come’.

It’s into that crowded front row that Mama will have to try and force himself. We all know he has the potential to be the difference in a match – let’s hope he’s given the chance soon.