Stoke City – Forgotten the goals
By David, bettingexpert.com | Published
Stoke City are coming from a splendid season which astonished quite a few fans. Being the most vociferous crowd in the Premier League the Potters’ supporters deserved what came their way and the president has sought to preserve the side and strengthen the ranks. However, so far only defenders have been bought and they sorely need more fire power.
Players In: Woodgate, Upson
Players Out: Gudjohnsen, Faye
Current Probable Formation: Begovic, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Pennant, Whitehead, Delap, Etherington, Walters, Kenwyne Jones
As it is the team cannot produce consistently good displays on the European and domestic fronts. Pulis needs more players to be able to turn around his squad when needed. Last season he was lucky with injuries. Very rarely did he have to do without any of his important men. That may not be the case this season though so he will need some quality reserves in all departments.
In defence the strong point are surely the central defenders. Huth, Shawcross and Upson impose their strength well and rarely get surprised by opponents, especially the strong tall types. Higginbotham, Woodgate and Collins are good reserves for a backline which ought to be completed by Wilkinson and Wilson on the flanks.
The star players in midfield are Etherington and Pennant. Two very pacy wingers who can dribble very well and are undeniably the main sources of play for the team. Subs for these two are unavailable though so Pulis will have to hope they don’t get injured or insist for some good reserves for his wingmen. Anyway, with the team involved in the Europa League they will be the first ones to drop the pace if they are forced to work overtime.
Whitehead, Whelan and Diao are the options for the centre of midfield with Rory Delap more of a jolly who can affect the game with his impressively long throw-ins.
The keys of the attack will be handed to Kenwyne Jones again. Fuller enjoys little faith from his manager despite being the most technical player upfront. Walters has worked his way up the ranks and will often be the preferred choice to replace Jones or partner him in attack.
The team are still thinking about bringing on new players who can add quality to the tea though. Their targets are Crouch and Palacios from Tottenham but they are perhaps waiting to see if they will make it through the Europa League qualifiers. In any case bringing in Crouch, a copy of Jones, should not be such a great idea.
Predicted finishing position: 16th
A top ten finish should be a great reward for a team which has not quenched its thirst with last season’s FA Cup Wembley final. Home games should be their main contributors of points with visitors expecting no warm reception by the enthusiastic crowd of the Britannia Stadium. If involved in Europa League commitments though they will have their resources stretched and may have to fight on to avoid relegation until April.
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