Date: 19th December 2006 at 8:12am
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Stoke City may be without influential midfielder, Salif Diao for the rest of December as he struggles to overcome a groin strain.

Liverpool are keen to sell the Senegalese international in the January transfer window and with the Potters likely to put in a bid to keep his services, Tony Pulis does not want to risk upsetting the Anfield management by playing Diao if he is not fully fit.

Diao has been a rock in midfield for Stoke since he joined on loan at the start of October but is due to rejoin his Anfield teammates at the start of January. If Pulis was able to retain him on a permanent basis he would be a big piece of the team jigsaw.