Stoke are looking to push their away-day blues to one side this weekend as they take on Fulham at the Britannia Stadium.
The Potters lost 2-0 at Swansea in their last Premier League fixture and will be keen to get back to winning ways in the comfort of their own home this Saturday.
The Cottagers ran out 2-0 winners in this fixture last year, with a brace from the unlikely source of defender Chris Baird, condemning Stoke to an unlikely home defeat.
There’s been a bit of history in recent years between Fulham and Stoke, Pulis didn’t really seen eye to eye with Mark Hughes and midfielder Danny Murphy’s comments only added fuel to the fire.
The West-London side have a new man in charge this time around,though, and Martin Jol will be keen to prove that his success at Tottenham wasn’t just a mere flash in the pan.
Stoke City Team News:
Home team news will be added shortly
Player to watch: Jermaine Pennant
I’m pretty sure that Fulham will arrive at the Britannia content in playing for a point.
So that said, they’ll try and frustrate us. This will mean our forwards(most likely Crouch & Walters) will have to be on the top of their game, but the man who I’m looking to win us the game on Saturday is Jermaine Pennant – the 28-year-old winger has picked up from where he left off last season and it’s looking like he’ll have a major say in Stoke’s season this year.
We all know of Jon Arne Riise’s attacking abilities, but he’s not really renowned for his defensive abilities, and Pennant could profit from that.
Fulham Team News:
Away team news will be added shortly
Player to watch: Andy Johnson
Fulham have got a batch of quality players and it’s clear to see why they’ve done so well and held their position in the top flight for so long.
Brede Hangeland always seems to relish the task of coming up against Stoke, but I doubt he’ll have faced an opponent who’s taller than him – and with Peter Crouch certain to start on Saturday, he’ll have his hands full.
Clint Dempsey is a quality player who always seems to pop up with a goal when needed, and the Potters will have to be alert to the danger the USA star possesses. Not only is he very tidy on the deck, but he’s a big threat from set-pieces.
However, my pick for the Fulham player to watch has to be Andy Johnson, the former England man netted a stunning hat-trick in his team’s 6-0 win over QPR and will be thriving with confidence.
In fact, the 30-year-old has already scored a hat-trick against Stoke. He bagged 3 goals in a 6-3 thriller for Crystal Palace back in 2003, and he’s always been a confidence player…
Finally, Zamora’s a top player when fit, so he’s bound to cause a few problems, and don’t forget – Fulham didn’t splash out £10 million on Costa Rican Bryan Ruiz for nothing…
Match Facts & Stats
I respect Fulham as a team, but I think we’ll have too much for them at home. I’m expecting a really convincing performance from Stoke.
Stoke 2-0 Fulham
Stoke entertain Israeli giants Maccabi Tel-Aviv on 20th October, but the Potters’ next Premier League fixture is away to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal