After three seasons of finishing ninth on the bounce, bigger things are expected from Stoke City this term but the start the Potters had to their campaign has been far from promising. Mark Hughes’ side have managed to collect just one point from three games this season thanks to a draw against newly-promoted Boro on the opening day. The Potters were below par against both Manchester City and Everton and need to buckle up really soon if they have to climb up the table.
Stoke City are scheduled to host Spurs this weekend at the Britannia and we can expect a cracker of a game. Mark Hughes needs to ensure that his side can pick up their game in order to stand a chance against Mauricio Pochettino’s Lilywhites. Hughes needs to reshuffle his tactics and make some changes in personnel if Stoke hope to win this game.
Bony to be thrown directly to the starting XI
It was evident from the last campaign that Stoke City lacked a regular goal-threat up front. Hughes could not bring in a striker throughout the transfer window to address the issue but gave the fans reasons to smile on the deadline day when he brought in Wilfred Bony from Manchester City on a season-loan.
A proven Premier League goalscorer, Bony badly needed a move after being frozen out at Manchester City and the Ivorian has what it takes to put an end to the Potters’ goalscoring woes. Bony is likely to be pushed directly to the starting XI spearheading the attack and he will be keen to make an immediate impact at the BET365 Stadium.
Switch from 4-3-3 to 4-2-3-1
Stoke City have so far lined up in a 4-3-3 formation this season but have been far from impressive. The cutting edge in their game is missing big time and Mark Hughes now needs to have a second thought about the formation. 4-2-3-1 worked like magic for Stoke last season and the Welshman should revert back to in my opinion which offers.
Wide players like Shaqiri and Arnautovic can play their natural game in the wide areas in a 4-2-3-1 formation and Bojan Krkic can play the role of the number ten behind Bony. Glenn Whelan will probably have to be sacrificed to switch to a two-man midfield from a midfield trio but if Stoke City need a more attacking approach to their game, this is something Hughes must do. Imbula, with his overall ability to contribute to both defence and attack will get the nod ahead of Whelan to start alongside Joe Allen who will set the foundation of the team from deep with his excellent passing ability.