The Britannia plays host to a clash between two sides severely lacking in confidence and both in need of a victory.
Stoke City have seen their once promising start to the season hit a brick wall in recent weeks with poor performances at home to Sunderland and away at Norwich yielding only a single point and leaving the Potters in 15th position, four points above the drop zone. On the other hand, despite the vast turnover of players at Loftus Road in the summer, Mark Hughes’ QPR remain winless in the Premier League so far this season and are currently sitting dangerously in 19th.
Tony Pulis’ men will have to do without Rory Delap, who will next week undergo hernia surgery while Michael Owen is again ruled out with a hamstring problem. Marc Wilson remains a long term absentee after suffering a broken leg. Elsewhere, Pulis may look to reshape an attacking line-up that has stuttered of late with Matthew Etherington, Kenywyne Jones and Cameron Jerome all vying for selection.
QPR could be without club captain Park Ji-Sung once more after he missed last week’s 1-1 draw with Reading with a knee injury. Elsewhere, ex-Marseille central defender Stephane M’Bia remains suspended after the red card he picked up in the defeat at Arsenal, while Fabio and Andrew Johnson are long term injury victims, along with Kieron Dyer. Up front, Hughes must choose whether to recall England international striker Bobby Zamora to partner Djbril Cisse after the Frenchman played the lone striking role against Reading last week.