Fresh from their heroic exploits at Anfield on Saturday, the Potters return to Carling Cup action with third round match against Reading at the Brit.
The second round win over Cheltenham saw Tony Pulis rest ten of the eleven that had been victorious over Aston Villa a few days before and he seems certain to repeat the plan in the match against the Royals.
Pulis is still cock-a-hoop after the Potters gritty 0-0 draw against Liverpool: ‘We were playing against one of the best teams in the world, let alone England, we knew they’d push us back.
‘The lads have worked very hard on set plays this week, because that’s what has been letting us down, and we’re all very pleased.’
Stoke City Team News:
Newcomers Tom Soares and Michael Tonge are cup-tied, but Ric Fuller may get a start after being starting the Liverpool match on the bench. Other than that, expect to see the Potters’ reserve squad make a start with the likes of Simonsen, Shawcross, Wilkinson, Dickinson and Whelan.
Player to watch: Steve Simonsen
Desperate to prove that he’s worth a shot between some Premier League sticks, Simo should be raring to go.
Reading Team News:
Former Potter, Brynjar Gunnarsson may get a start as he fights back from injury. The Royals’ boss may also ring the changes after their bizarre 2-2 draw on Saturday against Watford, when another former Potter, John Eustace was alleged to have conceded an own goal despite the ball being yards away from the goal.
Player to watch: Brynjar Gunnarsson
Brynjar scored 18 goals in a three year spell at the Brit during the height of the Icelandic rule and helped the Potters gain promotion to League Divison 1, but left in 2003 for Nott’m Forest.
He’s now in his 4th season at Reading, but has been sidelined since sustaining a calf injury back in January.
Ed: Thanks must go to Fornside for pointing out my lapse in concentration – yep, Brynjar left for Forest in 2003 in the search for ‘brighter lights’. Sorry for the error, now corrected.
Match Facts & Stats
The Royals have had a steady start to their first season back in the Championship and have seen off Dagenham & Redbridge and Luton Town to get to the third round.
Saturday 27th Sept: Chelsea (home) kick-off: 3pm
Sunday 5th October: Portsmouth (away) kick-off: 3pm
Sunday 19th October: Spurs (home) kick-off: 4pm – SKY TV