Date: 19th March 2009 at 8:35pm
Written by:

Tony Pulis is hoping that Ricardo Fuller will be fit for the clash against Boro on Saturday at the Brit.

With Middlesbrough just two points and one place below the Potters, let no-one underestimate the importance of Saturday’s match and a fully fit Fuller is as crucial as anything.

Since he returned from his injury that dislocated his shoulder he’s been forced to play the role of impact man and come on as a second half substitute with Pulis not yet confident that he can manage a full 90 minutes. He certainly was the difference when he came on in the second half at Aston Villa. He was, again, very effective in the match two weeks ago against Bolton. Last week at Everton, the mere presence of the Jamaican waiting on the touchline at 2-0 down was enough for Everton to concede a goal. Unfortunately, even though Stoke fought back well, that was as good as it got and the Potters succumbed to yet another away defeat.

Should a 100% fit Fuller get the nod, it will be Mamady Sidibe who has to make way. Last season the Fuller/Sidibe combination was unbeatable even if Big Mama didn’t score many goals, but James Beattie’s proven goalscoring ability has effectively broken the old double act.