The Potters will be full of confidence after yesterday’s convincing victory over Lancashire’s chicken farmers in stark contrast to our first visitors of the Christmas break. Fulham lost to bottom placed West Ham at Craven Cottage to pile on the pressure for the London club as they also entered the relegation zone.
TP was in a typically wary mood when he said on the SCFC official site: ‘Fulham have drawn a lot of games, but that shows they are a hard side to beat. We may have beaten them in the Carling Cup earlier this season, but that result will count for nothing and we know that will have to be at our best to beat them again.’
He added: ‘We have had a good run recently, but we cannot afford to lose our focus for one single second in this the most competitive league in the world.’
Stoke City Team News:
Matty Etherington and Jon Walters both picked up knocks on Sunday but it’s hoped that they’ll both be fit. With three games in six days, it’s likely that he’ll ring the changes where it’s feasible so that could offer possibilities for Ric Fuller or even Tuncay to start if necessary.
Player to watch: Robert Huth
Huth was a key player on Sunday so he (along with Shawcross) needs to be careful to avoid that dreaded fifth yellow card until the busy Christmas period is over.
Fulham Team News:
Bobby Zamora is injured and Dembele another likely to miss out after picking up an ankle injury, but Hughes may decide on a reshuffle as they strive to climb out of the relegation zone.
Player to watch: Clint Dempsey
Their most potent weapon with five league goals was subbed on Sunday to howls of disbelief from the home fans. Expect him to be fully refreshed and ready for action.
Match Facts & Stats
The form book confidently predicts a Stoke victory after we won both encounters with the Cottagers last season and we’ve already seen them off this season with the 2-0 win in the Carling Cup.
But we all know what that means…
Saturday 1st January: Everton (home) kick-off: 3pm
Saturday 8th January: Cardiff City (home) kick-off: 3pm – FA Cup