Whilst midweek away wins are now becoming the norm – even if the Potters do leave them sometimes to the last minute – it’s the home form that will worry fans the most. With the defence leaking seven goals in the past two home games (not one of Tony Pulis’ most enviable records), the team will be hoping that they show fans and TV viewers that they can return to a good solid performance and hopefully a good win against a Blades’ team that has been under-performing so far this season.
Mark O’Connor told the official site: ‘Sheffield United are a Premiership side who have added the likes of James Beattie and Billy Sharp, which is £6m plus in itself. In many peoples eyes they were the favourites to win automatic promotion and I still feel they have the capabilities to do that.’
Urging caution, he said ‘We are not fooled by their position in the league and expect a very difficult game.’
Stoke City Team News:
Liam Lawrence is suspended after he picked up his fifth booking last Saturday and this may offer an opportunity at some point to Demar Phillips to make his debut with Dominic Matteo still doubtful. Mama Sidibe is back in training, but it may be too soon for the Mali international, which will allow Richard Cresswell to continue to partner Ricardo Fuller up front.
Player to watch: Ryan Shawcross
The man of the moment, after picking up his deserved Championship player of the month award this week. Ryan will be hoping that he can score another goal after the disappointment of seeing a cast-iron goal disallowed last Saturday.
Sheffield United Team News:
Lee Hendrie is a doubt, but may make the bench after struggling with injuries this season. Rob Hulse, keeper Paddy Kenny and Derek Geary are all still out with injuries.
Player to watch: James Beattie
Only one man to really watch out for and that’s Beattie with eleven goals in fifteen games already to his name.
Match Facts & Stats
Premier League referee, Keith Stroud is on duty. Fans often see Premier refs as a problem as they seem to attempt to steal the limelight with some ludicrous decisions, but surely he can’t be as bad as Mr. Marriner last week?
Saturday 24th November: Burnley (away) kick-off: 3pm