Stoke City will be aiming for their fourth consecutive Premier League victory when they travel to their happiest of hunting grounds, the Hawthorns, to face West Bromwich Albion.
It was of course home boss Tony Pulis who masterminded many of those successes with the Potters, but here he desperate to see his new team bounce back from two disappointing losses to near neighbours Aston Villa and help them move even closer to safety by extending their already healthy lead over the bottom three.
Both the games at Villa Park were decided by fine margins as Ben Foster’s handling issues resulted in defeat in the Premier League, while a failure to convert chances cost them in the FA Cup. Nevertheless, the home record under Pulis remains formidable, with Saido Berahino and Brown Ideye producing their best form.
For the visitors, the achievement of climbing to a highly respectable eighth place has gone largely under the radar, a testament not only to the job that Mark Hughes has done since succeeding Pulis, but the quiet efficiency of the squad at his disposal, with Everton comfortably seen off last time out.
Victor Moses produced a phenomenal header to give them the lead in that game, and the on-loan Chelsea man has been an outstanding performer of late. His trickery has the potential to give Craig Dawson and Chris Brunt problems as they are not natural full-backs, while Peter Crouch will relish a fierce aerial battle.
West Brom midfielder Claudio Yacob begins a two-match ban following his harsh sending off at Villa in the cup. Victor Anichebe is still out through injury.
Defenders Ryan Shawcross and Philipp Wollscheid hope to return for Stoke, but Marc Muniesa is still out along with Bojan Krkic and Stephen Ireland.
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