Stoke begin a busy week of three matches and the first up is a tricky FA Cup tie against our South Staffordshire rivals. A Sunday lunchtime kick-off is far from ideal and Stoke have to be prepared to start without skipper, Ryan Shawcross who is suspended after his sending off last weekend.
One thing was certain in the pre match build-up and that was TP was not happy to see us play three times in less than a week, but he told the official site: ‘We’ve got 25 players in our squad and we’ll use them if necessary over what will be a tough, tough week for us.
‘In each case, we will pick a team which we think is capable of getting us the right result on the day and we will definitely be going to Molineux to give it our best shot.
‘As much as anything, we’re taking a lot of supporters there, so they deserve to see a decent side take the field and have a go, which is what we will endeavour to do.’
Wolves Team News:
Kevin Foley is out with a hamstring problem but Jody Craddock, Steven Mouyokolo, George Elokobi and Dave Edwards are all available again.
Player to watch: Karl Henry
The former Potter, who came up through the Academy ranks at the Brit, has now been at Molineux for over four years and has just signed a new three year contract with the club he supported as a youngster. There’s no doubt that he’s matured since his time at the Brit and has been Wolves’ skipper for the past two years.
Stoke City Team News:
Ryan Shawcross misses the first of his two match suspensions, but new loan signing John Carew is available and we presume Ricardo Fuller is also available with the Black Cats’ interest hopefully waning. TP has again threatened to start with some of the fringe players with the trip to Liverpool in midweek on the horizon, but Wolves are no Cardiff and he’ll need a decent starting eleven if he really wants to have a chance of a cup run.
Player to watch: John Carew
With that in mind, I’d expect Carew to start after coming on for his debut from the bench last week but Tone may start with Fuller and attempt to rest Kenwyne Jones. If Tuncay is off to pastures new before the window shuts on Monday then he may not be risked, otherwise he’s another who could start.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday 2nd Feb: Liverpool (away) kick-off: 8pm
Saturday 5th Feb: Sunderland (home) kick-off: 12.45pm * Sky TV