Stoke continue their marathon Christmas week of away days with the long trip down to the West Country and back to Tony Pulis’ previous employers, Plymouth Argyle.
The Pilgrims have a new manager in Paul Sturrock who managed Plymouth during their double promotion run from 2000 to 2004 and a last gasp winner against QPR on Boxing Day left Argyle just four points behind the Potters. It’s always been a difficult game at Home Park and, like Barnsley on Wednesday, will be no push-over.
Plymouth Team News:
Sturrock is likely to continue to shake up the squad after he recalled Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Lilian Nalis and Paul Connolly for the QPR match and has said he will look at resting some players as the Christmas fixtures reach the half way point.
Player to watch: Lee Martin
Former Potter, Lee Martin is now on loan at Home Park but has been sidelined over a hamstring injury since the start of the month. He could be back in contention for a place against Stoke on Saturday and Sturrock is keen to keep the 20 year old Man U player when his initial loan expires next week.
Stoke City Team News:
Tony Pulis has the luxury of naming the same starting eleven for the fourth game in a row. Steve Simonsen picked up a small injury after conceding the third goal at Oakwell in midweek but is likely to be fit.
Player to watch: Take your pick….
How do you fancy to shine down in Devon? How about Stoke’s two hat-trick heroes – Ric Fuller and Liam Lawrence or Richard Cresswell? Take your pick as Stoke look to continue their recent unbeaten form.
Match Facts & Stats
Last season’s match saw the Potters come away from Home Park with a 1-1 draw courtesy of a second half goal from Darel Russell
New Year’s Day: Hull (home) kick-off: 3pm
Sun 6th Jan: Newcastle United (home) kick-off: 6pm (FA Cup on BBC1)
Sat 12th Jan: Ipswich Town (away) kick-off: 3pm