Paul Lambert’s Stoke City find themselves in 16th place on 24 points and have just one win in their last seven overall competitions – 2-0 over Huddersfield Town on Jan. 20. Last time out, the Potters played to a scoreless draw with Watford at bet365 Stadium on Wednesday. The point allowed Stoke to move out of the bottom three. The Potters will have some attacking reinforcements after completing a deadline-day signing of midfielder Badou Ndiaye from Galatasaray for £16 million.
Bournemouth, on the other hand, want to extend their unbeaten Premier League stretch to seven matches when they host Stoke City at Vitality Stadium on Saturday. Eddie Howe’s Cherries find themselves in 10th place on 28 points and coming off a 3-0 hammering of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
After a scoreless first half, Bournemouth seized control as Callum Wilson opened the scoring on 51 minutes and Junior Stanislas and Nathan Ake followed with two goals in a span of three minutes to stun Chelsea. The Cherries conceded more than 60 percent of possession on the day, but made the most of their chances and held the Blues to only five shots on target for the upset.
Bournemouth clearly are motivated to survive another season in top-flight football. Their inspirational run of form which has seen them grab six points in their two tough fixtures against Arsenal and the Blues over the past month. They are in no mood to drop points and would bring a lot of firepower at the bet365 on Saturday.
The Potters are without a win in their last three league games against the Cherries. Paul Lambert will have to field his best side against a positively charged Cherries team. He is expected to field his men in the 4-2-3-1 formation.
Jack Butland is expected to get the nod in between the sticks.
Moritz Bauer and Kostas Stafylidis are the predicted starters on the flanks with the latter fielded on the left. Erik Pieters lacks the pace and does not provide much going forward. He might just be dropped for this matchup.
Ryan Shawcross and Kurt Zouma might get paired up in the centre-back positions. The on-loan Chelsea defender is slowly returning to his usual former self.
Charlie Adam and Darren Fletcher are expected to feature in the holding midfield role behind Joe Allen who should get the nod in the attacking midfield role. Xherdan Shaqiri might provide width from the right wing and Maxim Choupa-Moting from the left. Ndiaye might make a late substitute appearance if a defensive figure is required to ensure a win.
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