It’s the Potters versus the Rams in the Quarter Finals of the Carling Cup and Stoke will be looking to progress to the semi-finals for the first time since we won the cup way back in 1972. It’s still a great achievment for to even be at this lofty stage of a cup competition. It’s thirty years since we were last at this point and then we were knocked out by Watford in a replay.
Derby boss, Paul Jewell believes that Stoke are anything but a ‘one trick pony’ but reckons that the media’s simplistic view of the Potters is working Tony Pulis’ advantage: ‘But then it will suit him for people to say how horrible his side are to play against.
‘A lot of people are frightened and beaten before they get there, with a lot of his players underestimated as individuals. They are far from one-dimensional.
‘So you underestimate Stoke as a footballing team at your peril. They have far more about them than people give them credit for.
‘I’m not someone who buys into the remark they are just long ball. They play to their strengths and they’ve a lot of big lads.’
Stoke City Team News:
Michael Tonge and Tom Soares are again cup-tied, but Tony Pulis has said that he will be playing a full strength starting eleven with a semi final place to play for. We’d expect Ricardo Fuller to be up front, but there should still be room for the like of Glenn Whelan in the middle of the park.
Player to watch: Glenn Whelan
The Irish international has been champing at the bit to be given a Premier League start and has had to be content with reserve and cup starts this season. If he does get the nod and does well, this could be his chance to prove to Pulis that he can mix it with most of the regular first team.
Derby County Team News:
The Rams will be without the cup-tied Luke Varney and Nacer Barazite, and are also missing three key central defenders with Dean Leacock (groin), Claude Davis (hamstring) and Martin Albrechtsen (calf) all ruled out.
Player to watch: Kris Commons
The former Stoke midfielder will be making a return to the Brit after leaving in 2004 for Nottm Forest. He joined the Rams from Forest in the summer and has been a regular in Jewell’s Championship side with two goals so far.
Match Facts & Stats
Saturday 8th December: Newcastle (away) kick-off: 3pm