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Premier League Preview: Stoke City - Reading

Goal.com

  PROBABLE LINEUPS


STOKE CITY

Begovic
Shotton, Shawcross, Huth, Wilkinson Kightly, Adam, Nzonzi, Etherington
Walters
Crouch

READING
 
Federici
Kelly, Harte, Mariappa, Pearce
Akpan, Leigertwood
McCleary, McAnuff, Kebe
Pogrebnyak


Ex-Liverpool man Charlie Adam should start as could Michael Kightly, with Stoke boss Tony Pulis looking for more attacking options going forward. Michael Owen and Kenwyne Jones are both pushing for starting berths up front as well.

Marc Wilson remains out with a broken ankle and is not expected to return until the end of February.

U.S. international winger Brek Shea is available to make his debut after receiving international clearance following his deadline day move, making him eligible for selection. Fellow American Geoff Cameron is questionable after playing 90 minutes in Honduras Wednesday and making the long trip from Central America back to England.

As for the visitors, Brian McDermott may well name the same starting XI that beat Sunderland 2-1 in its previous match. This would mean another start for January arrivals Stephen Kelly and Hope Akpan.

Pavel Pogrebnyak is likely to get another chance to lead the line with Nick Blackman still adjusting to life in the Premier League, and super-sub Adam Le Fondre again will likely have to settle for a place on the bench.

Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy remains sidelined with a shoulder problem, with veteran striker Jason Roberts (hip) also still unavailable.

  DID YOU KNOW?


  • Stoke has the third-worst scoring record in the league, having found the back of the net just 24 times. Only QPR (18) and Aston Villa (23) have scored less frequently.

  • Tony Pulis’ side has drawn 12 league matches this season, tied for the most along with Everton.

  • The Potters have only won one out of their last 10 Premier League games - a 3-1 win over Liverpool on Boxing Day.

  • The previous meeting between the two sides earlier in the season finished 1-1. Michael Kightly fired the Potters ahead before Adam Le Fondre (pictured right), netted a late penalty.

  • Reading has taken more points from its last seven Premier League games (14) than it had in its opening 18 matches (9).

  • Royals boss Brian McDermott and forward Le Fondre won January’s Premier League manager and player of the month, respectively.

  • Le Fondre managed a staggering five goals in just 89 minutes of league action in January - with all his appearances coming off the bench.

  • A win for the visitors would make it five wins from their last seven Premier League matches.
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