Stoke V West Brom at bet365 Stadium : Match Preview

By
23 September 2016
Stoke V West Brom - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Stoke waiting on Xherdan Shaqiri ahead of West Brom fixture

Stoke winger Xherdan Shaqiri will undergo a late fitness test ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash with West Brom at the Bet365 Stadium.

Shaqiri has not featured since the first game of the season due to a calf injury but has been training this week as he closes in on a return to action.

Forward Jonathan Walters is a doubt after missing the EFL Cup loss to Hull on Wednesday because of an ankle problem.

Stoke boss Mark Hughes, meanwhile, has branded talk of there being unhappiness at the club towards Wilfried Bony as "totally wrong".

Reports have suggested Bony - yet to score for the Potters having made three appearances since joining on loan from Manchester City - is at the centre of unrest, with Hughes and his players questioning the striker's attitude and work rate.

But Hughes, speaking ahead of Saturday's Premier League home clash with West Brom, said: "Wilfried has come in and had a real positive impact on the group.

"We have been delighted with his character and what he has shown.

"In terms of what he's been able to produce on the pitch, he hasn't played too many games in the last couple of years, he is three games into his Stoke career and he is getting up to speed.

"To say we are questioning his attitude or what he is bringing to the party is totally wrong."

Tony Pulis will have an unchanged squad when West Brom face his former club Stoke in what will be the Welshman's 1,000th game as a manager on Saturday.

James Morrison's return from injury against West Ham and Hal Robson-Kanu's inclusion for the first time last weekend means that the only player unavailable to Pulis is Chris Brunt, who is continuing to make his way back from a knee injury.

Pulis has hinted that he might make one or two changes to his starting line-up despite the impressive 4-2 victory over the Hammers with Allan Nyom and Saido Berahino pushing strongly for places, while Craig Gardner and Morrison may also be options.

West Brom scored four times last weekend against West Ham without Berahino even entering the action, with Salomon Rondon and recent club-record signing Nacer Chadli now seemingly the first-choice attacking pairing.

However, Albion head coach Pulis insists there is still a place for the former England Under-21 international if he can get himself back on track.

"Everything is closed down again now and we've still got Saido," Pulis said. "We need to make sure we get the best out of him because on his best form he is a top, top player and we need as many of those as we can lay our hands on.

"He was the best player here when I arrived at the club. He really was top guy. What did he get? Something like 12 goals in 18 games?

"But we never got him back after all that business. We've got to make sure we get him back.

"Saido needs to get his head down and get his level of fitness back and if he does that then he'll be in demand because he's an out-and-out goalscorer at the top level. So hopefully he gets back to fitness and gets his mind focused and we have him in the squad. We need him.








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