Stoke V Wrexham at Britannia Stadium - Match Preview

Stoke V Wrexham - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.Hughes plays down set-piece prowessStoke boss Mark Hughes feels the idea of the Potters being the masters of set-piece situations is out of date.For a long time following their promotion to the Premier League in 2008 - and certainly while their former manager Tony Pulis was in charge - Stoke have been associated with a direct, physical style of play, with a particular ability to defend and score from dead balls being a key part of that.But since replacing Pulis in 2013, Hughes has tried to implement a more flowing brand of football.And while still, of course, keen to see his side successful in the set-piece department, the current manager has no doubt Stoke are not the force on that front that they once were.It was from a corner that Manchester United notched their equaliser in the 1-1 league draw at the Britannia Stadium on New Year's Day, and Hughes - whose team host Vanarama Conference outfit Wrexham in the FA Cup third round on Sunday - said: "We were disappointed by that."That was one detail of the game we were upset about."But it is not the first time, in fairness

There have been other occasions where we haven't quite done our jobs in terms of stopping the opposition scoring from set plays."In terms of our strength at set plays, I think it is overstated to be perfectly honest - we don't score that many."It is not through lack of preparation or work we put in

It is just we haven't quite got as many tools as maybe Stoke teams in the past have had."So we make the best of what we have now."Although Hughes has concerns about Stoke's use of set-pieces into the opposition's box, it was from a corner that they scored themselves in the United contest.Marko Arnautovic provided a delivery was nodded on by Peter Crouch to Ryan Shawcross, who hooked in from close range against his old club.And Hughes admits the kind of crosses Arnautovic can produce from dead-ball scenarios do create problems for defenders."For the most part, he is putting on side-spin and top-spin all at the same time, so it is difficult for guys to judge the line and the flight of the ball," Hughes said."We have spoken about the type of delivery we want from him and he produced it against Manchester United."For the tie against Hughes' home town club Wrexham, Stoke will be without influential forward Bojan Krkic due to the hamstring problem that kept him out of the United match - although the Spaniard may have been rested even if fit, with the manager expected to make changes.Fringe players such as goalkeeper Jack Butland and midfielder Oliver Shenton could feature.Wrexham will travel to Stoke armed with hope for their FA Cup third-round tie, even if boss Kevin Wilkin is fearful of being on the wrong end of a Britannia Stadium thrashing.The non-league Dragons will make the trip to Stoke aiming to write another memorable FA Cup chapter in their history following on from their 1992 scalp of then-league champions Arsenal at the Racecourse.Stoke boss Mark Hughes, who was born in the North Wales town of Ruabon - less than six miles from Wrexham, will be mindful of his hometown team causing another shock in this competition.However, Wilkin is weary that Hughes' side have the potential to heap plenty of misery on his Vanarama Conference outfit."You look at anyone in the Premier League, they are all athletes, they are all big strong powerful men, and they can play a bit as well, so we are under no illusions; we know what to expect and we will take it on on the day," he told the Daily Post."Clearly we will be the underdogs - a Conference side playing a Premier League side, you would expect no different."We can go there with no fear, you want to go into the game with no fear but we very much respect what Stoke can do and we are very aware of what they can do to teams, and one thing you don't want to do is go there and be on the end of a real good thumping."But the gulf between what they are and the money they can spend and what we spend is huge."

Source : PA

Source: PA