Friday, December 2, 2022

Stoke City Season Preview 2017-18: Can Mark Hughes Get His Strategy Right This Time?

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Abhishek Majumdar
Editor in Chief of The 4th Official. A man in his thirties who worries about the nuances of the financial aspects of football and how it will impact the game in the long term.

Stoke City have been disappointing in the last term, having finished the season in the 13th spot on the league table. They are looking forward to making amends for their lost causes in the last term and will try their level best to bring back the performance of the two seasons prior to the last one in which they finished in the ninth position.

The man in charge at the Bet365 Stadium, Mark Hughes, is well aware of the fact that he has got one more season to prove his worth in front of the Potters’ club management and might be shown the door in case there is any goof–up that might let the side down. This has made the Welshman extra cautious about the steps that he is looking to take in the new season regarding team management and the players that he will be depending on to play in the team.

Key Men-

It is expected that the team will perform well with a young striker like new signing Eric Maxim Chuopo-Moting spearheading their attack for the next term. He is supposed to be ably supported by the Swiss winger Xherdan Shaqiri, who has been a mainstay in the attack for the Potters throughout his tenure at the Bet365 Stadium. The arrival of Josh Tymon from Hull City and Kurt Zouma from Chelsea on loan will be a big boost for the Potters in their defence, which has been an area of a problem in the last term. They are also close to signing Bruno Martins Indi from Porto on a permanent deal after the Portuguese defender had a fairly good season on loan in the backline for Stoke.

Strength-

The Potters defence is looking strong for the new season, with players like Josh Tymon and Kurt Zouma in it. These two, along with the captain Ryan Shawcross, can spell disaster for the opposition attack on any given day. The arrival of Bruno Martins Indi is also very close, which will give a world of solidity to their defence for the new season.

Weakness-

The midfield needs to be improved, and new players need to be brought into the squad to stabilize it in the middle of the pitch. However, players like Joe Allen, Bojan Krkic and Charlie Adam need to play their part well to keep getting the passes into the attacking third for the forwards to capitalize on.

Expectations-

The Potters ended in a lowly 13th position in the last term, which needs to be turned around in the new season, as the fans will be expecting to see some exciting football from the young guns who have been brought into the side.

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