Stoke City’s troubles have become bad to worse with their 2-1 loss to Premier League new boys Hull City in the third round of the League Cup. The Potters are sitting at the rock bottom of the Premier League table now with just one point collected from five Premier League games and will host 10th-placed West Bromwich Albion at Bet365 Stadium on Saturday.
West Brom have done decently this season but they are on the back of a huge 4-2 win against West Ham from last weekend. However, there is still considerable pressure on the shoulders of Tony Pulis. The Baggies need to bring consistency into their game and have a great opportunity to win two games in a row adding more misery to Stoke City.
Mark Hughes tried a much-changed lineup against Hull in the midweek but still faced the same fortune. Hughes is under a monumental pressure now and if things do not improve soon, we might see the Welshman losing his job as he is currently leading the sack race. Here is the predicted Stoke City lineup against West Brom.
With Jack Butland still out with an injury, veteran Shay Given is likely to start under the bar ahead of Lee Grant. Glen Johnson will continue in the right-back position while Erik Pieters will start on the opposite flank. Ryan Shawcross and Bruno Martins Indi are likely to pair up at the heart of the defence. Stoke have conceded as many as 14 goals in five games this season and the defenders need to buckle up when they feature against West Brom.
Glenn Whelan is expected to start in the middle of the park alongside Gianelli Imbula. Stoke need bodies in midfield to help out their defenders and Joe Allen is expected to be sacrificed for that. Xherdan Shaqiri is likely to come back from a long-term injury and is expected to start on the right flank. Bojan Krkic should start as the number ten. Austrian international Marko Arnautovic is likely to start on the left. Stoke had mostly played 4-3-3 this season and should switch to a 4-2-3-1 now to get more edge in the attack. The quality is certainly there, but they need to play well as a unit to get the first win out of the way.
Wilfred Bony has been struggling since joining the Potters on a season-long loan from Manchester City on the deadline day. However, we still expect the Ivorian to keep his place up front ahead of Diouf, Walters and Crouch. He will be a tad fitter of course and that’ll help his cause.