Stoke will be looking at Monday’s televised clash with Villa as the perfect opportunity to make up for the poor start to the season. Three games and still without a point on the board could spell trouble ahead, but the Potters can be positive with new signings, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Jermaine Pennant and Marc Wilson all ready for their debuts along with Kenwyne Jones who will also be lining up for a belated home debut with every intention of putting his nightmare start against Wolves well behind him.
Stoke’s dearth of creativity up front was well known last season, but TP now has multiple attacking options at his disposal with Jon Walters, Ricardo Fuller and Tuncay alongside his latest new signings.
Jermaine Pennant is looking forward to being on the receiving end of some cheers rather than the boos that he’s more familiar with the Brit in recent years.
‘I usually get abuse from the Stoke fans – fierce abuse down the years.
‘Hopefully I can give them something to cheer about this time.’
Stoke City Team News:
An abundance of riches up front will be giving TP some headaches in his team selection. We’d expect to see Kenwyne Jones playing alongside Eidur Gudjohnsen if TP feels that the Icelandic is fit enough to start. That’ll leave Ric Fuller demoted to the bench with Jon Walters and Jermaine Pennant in midfield. Thomas Sorensen is struggling with an elbow infection, but hopes to start but you can be sure that Asmir Begovic will be waiting for his chance should Sorensen have to pull out.
Player to watch: Kenwyne Jones
He says that he’s now fully fit after the 15 day break since the Chelsea match and so Stoke fans should finally get to see their record signing at the Brit.
Aston Villa Team News:
With new boss, Gerard Houllier, unable to formally take over until his contract is sorted it leaves caretaker boss, Kevin MacDonald with another game on the touchline. New signing, Stephen Ireland is a doubt after pulling up with a hamstring injury in the warm-up against Everton two weeks ago.
Player to watch: Brad Friedel
No Stoke fan will ever forget our first ever win in the Premier League two years ago when a flapping Friedel failed to deal with a Rory Delap throw and the head of Big Mama in the final seconds at the Brit to give us a thrilling 3-2 win.
Match Facts & Stats
Sat 18th Sept: West Ham (home) kick-off 12.45pm
Tues 21st Sept: Fulham (home) kick-off: 7.45pm – Carling Cup
Sun 26th Sept: Newcastle (away) kick-off: 4.10pm