The Britannia is sure to be rocking for the visit of Swansea with the home fans expectant that Tony Pulis’ men will finally get their first win of the season at the sixth time of asking.
Pulis can point to a tough start that has seen Stoke take on Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea in their opening five games but with visits to Liverpool and Manchester United on the horizon, victory in this game will be a definite target for the Potters.
Pulis has the luxury of being able to call upon near-enough a full strength squad with Matt Etherington, who made his return from injury from the bench at Chelsea last week pushing for a start while Charlie Adam has recovered from the illness that forced him off in last week’s late defeat at Chelsea.
Stoke’s only absentee is defender Andy Wilkinson, who is still suspended following his off the ball challenge on Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli two games ago. Elsewhere, Michael Owen could make his first start for the Potters.
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup will certainly be concerned for his side’s form. Having started the season extremely brightly, the Swans are winless in three and were brutally exposed by Everton in a disappointing 3-0 home defeat last week.
However, Laudrup have both defender Chico Flores and winger Nathan Dyer available again having served their suspensions while Jonathan de Guzman, Ashley Williams and club record signing Pablo Hernandez could all make returns to the first team after missing Tuesday night’s League Cup victory at Crawley with injuries. Hernandez in particular will be keen to show what he can do after a disappointing full debut last week that ended with his substitution before half time.