Stoke vs Everton – Premier League preview and team news

Stoke City will be aiming for fifth victory in seven Premier League matches when they welcome out-of-form Everton to Britannia Stadium on Wednesday evening.

To be 17 points ahead of the bottom three with 11 games still to play just serves to highlight the progress the Potters have made under Mark Hughes, with impressive victories registered recently against Aston Villa and Hull City, with Peter Crouch continuing his good form with the winning goal in the latter.

And they were achieved without two of their most important players in Bojan Krkic and captain Ryan Shawcross, while Peter Odemwingie, the man who sparked their late surge last season, has been out since August. Here, they will be keen to end a 38-year wait to complete a league double over Everton.

Despite two more goals for Romelu Lukaku against Young Boys on Thursday, the Belgian striker has found it far tougher to find the net in the Premier League for the Toffees, and was rarely given a look-in as they slipped to defeat at Arsenal in their last game, where despite having plenty of possession, they created few chances.

One of the bright sparks was youngster Luke Garbutt, who deputised for Leighton Baines at left-back and put a number of quality crosses and set-pieces were delivered into the Arsenal penalty area. It has been the senior players who have aroused concern at Goodison Park of late, with Gareth Barry ordinary again upon returning from a ban.

Charlie Adam impressed as a substitute for Stoke against Hull, and is likely to come in here for the injured Stephen Ireland.

Everton will assess whether Baines is ready to return to starting line-up, but are still without Christian Atsu due to illness.

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