This is it! This is going to be a special day for all Stokies with our first ever FA Cup Final. The build-up has been immense and those lucky 27,000 who have tickets for Wembley’s East end will be pinching themselves at how far we’ve come in the last few years since those dark days in the late 1990’s. So if Ryan Shawcross can manage to lift that cup there’ll not be many dry eyes in the house.
The two goal hero of the semi-final win over Bolton, Jon Walters, told TheFA.com website that he thinks Wembley is just a special place: ‘I think every goal’s the same whether it’s in a park or in front of 80,000 people,’ he said. ‘I guess scoring [at Wembley] is a different sort of emotion, hard to describe, a one-off. It’s such a big occasion and it`s great that all your family are here – you make a lot of people proud.’
Stoke City Team News:
Everyone is sweating on the fitness of Matty Etherington and Robert Huth, hopefully they’ll both be fit and we’ll have a full complement for the TP to choose from. If not, it may provide memorable opportunities for Dean Whitehead in midfield and Abdoulaye Faye in defence. Despite having seen little action this season, Faye came on for the injured Huth against Arsenal and gave a creditable performance.
Player to watch: The 12th man
It’s hard to single out a player so this is for all us Stokies and for all those Stoke fans who’ve gone before us in the last 148 years.
Man City Team News:
We’ll be hoping that Carlos Tevez is not deemed fit enough to start after he came on as a late sub against Spurs in midweek after suffering a hamstring injury.
Player to watch: Mario Balotelli
The 20 year old Italian striker has hit the headlines for both good and bad reasons since joining the blue half of Manchester for a reported £24m. Incidentally that’s over half the cost of the ENTIRE Stoke squad. During his first season in the Premier League, he’s scored 10 league and cup goals but also managed to pick up 11 yellow cards and 1 red.
Match Facts & Stats
Who dares but predict a famous Potters’ victory? So it’ll be 2-1 with goals from Kenwyne Jones and a fit again Robert Huth.
Whatever the result, it’ll be all back to Eastlands for our last away match of the season on Tuesday night.