Stoke City have been the biggest letdown of this season without a shadow of a doubt. Much better things were expected of the Potters this season after three successive ninth-placed finishes. With one solitary point from five Premier League games scoring just three goals and shipping 14 in the process, the Potters are languishing at the rock bottom of the Premier League table right now. Mark Hughes is under monumental pressure right now and will be looking to ease some of it off his shoulders by seeing off Premier League colleagues Hull City in the third round of the League Cup tonight.
Hull City started their immediate comeback season in the Premier League on a strong note but their form has taken a dip in the last three games and Mike Phelan will be looking to use Stoke’s dismal form to get his side back on track. Here are three burning questions those will be answered when Stoke take on Hull tonight.
What are the Hull City signings made of?
Having relied on the same core of players since the start of the season, this game will be a big opportunity for Hull City’s caretaker boss Mike Phelan to see what his summer signings are made of. The Tigers made as many as six signings in the last two days of the summer transfer window after a shockingly quiet transfer window and the likes of Ryan Mason, Will Keane, Dieumerci Mbokani, David Marshall, James Weir and Markus Henriksen all could get a start against the Potters.
Mark Hughes’ future?
What Mark Hughes has done over the last three years since taking charge of Stoke City is remarkable. The Welsh manager completely transformed Stoke City into an attacking and flamboyant side from a team that used to be ill-known for their unattractive football. However, his job is not at all untouchable and if things do not improve really soon, Hughes could easily be the first manager to get sacked this season. A poor showing against Hull City tonight would heap more pressure on the 52-year-old.
Do Stoke need changes in personnel?
Stoke City have a squad blessed with the presence of some big stars like Arnautovic, Bojan, Bony, Allen, Imbula and many more but all of them have failed to deliver so far this campaign. The Potters are expected to turn towards their squad players like Walters, Diouf, Cameron, Crouch, Adam against Hull City. If those players could bring a change in luck, serious questions will be asked to the underperforming first-team players.