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FA Cup

  • 8 January 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
  • Referee: M. Halsey
  • • Attendance: 18629
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Stoke City - Cardiff Preview: Tony Pulis set to make a raft of changes as Craig Bellamy returns to face top-flight opponents

Stoke City - Cardiff Preview: Tony Pulis set to make a raft of changes as Craig Bellamy returns to face top-flight opponents

TEAM NEWS

Stoke


Expect Tony Pulis to make a raft of changes, with Tuncay likely to start up top with Jonathan Walters, and Thomas Sorensen coming in for Asmir Begovic.

Eidur Gudjohnsen could figure at some point to put the Icelandic international in the shop window after a dreadful stay in the Potteries.

Possible starting XI: Sorensen; Wilkinson, Higginbotham, Faye, Collins; Pennant, Whelan, Wilson, Pugh; Tuncay, Walters.

Cardiff


Expect boss Dave Jones to send out a strong eleven as the Welsh side anticipate a Premier League scalp.

Possible starting XI: Heaton; McNaughton, Naylor, Hudson, Quinn; Whittingham, Olofinjana, Burke, Keogh; Chopra, Bellamy.


Rolling back the years


Stoke came within a win of a Wembley semi-final last season, after defeating Arsenal and Manchester City en route to the quarter-finals, and Potters fans will be hoping that their side can go at least a step further this season.

Yet wibbly-wobbly home form of late makes the Midlands side tough to judge, especially when a raft of changes are expected to be made.

And against Cardiff, a team that had Stoke on the ropes many a time in the Football League, the Potters will not be in for an easy ride, but the last meeting between the two sides ended in a 2-1 win for the home team at the Britannia Stadium.

The Championship side, who missed out on promotion last season after being beaten by plucky Blackpool in the play-off final, are flying high in second spot this season.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
29Thomas SørensenGoalkeeper
30Ryan ShottonDefender
17Ryan ShawcrossDefender
4Robert HuthDefender
3Danny HigginbothamDefender
12Marc WilsonDefender
7Jermaine PennantMidfielder
6Glenn WhelanMidfielder
-Tuncay ŞanlıMidfielder
19Jonathan WaltersStriker
10Ricardo FullerStriker
27Carlo NashGoalkeeper
28Andy WilkinsonDefender
-Danny PughMidfielder
24Rory DelapMidfielder
26Matthew EtheringtonMidfielder
23Michael TongeMidfielder
9Kenwyne JonesStriker
1David MarshallGoalkeeper
14Paul QuinnDefender
2Kevin McNaughtonDefender
5Mark HudsonDefender
3Lee NaylorDefender
7Chris BurkeMidfielder
4Gavin RaeMidfielder
37Stephen McPhailMidfielder
7Peter WhittinghamMidfielder
-Michael ChopraMidfielder
17Andy KeoghStriker
22Tom HeatonGoalkeeper
23Darcy BlakeMidfielder
2Adam MatthewsDefender
29Jonathan MeadesDefender
26Martin JohnDefender
46Daniel DrinkwaterMidfielder
-Aaron WildigMidfielder
Players to Watch
Tuncay Şanlı
Tuncay Şanlı
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Turk has never fully convinced Pulis of his merit, rarely entrusted with league starts and often used as a late impact sub.

But the former Middlesbrough man is a fans favourite, in no small part due to the odd moment of magic and the relentless chasing.
Craig Bellamy
Craig Bellamy
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 39
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The enigmatic Welshman, fulfilling a lifelong dream of playing for the Bluebirds, has lit up the Championship and will be the man to watch for the visitors, arguably presenting as tough an opponent as Stoke's backline will face all season.
Prediction
With Pulis ringing the changes, and Cardiff high on confidence, this one will be feisty and open. Expect the Welsh side to get a goal to take it back to their place.
Editor's Prediction

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