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Premier League

  • 7 April 2012
  • • 17:30
  • • Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
  • Referee: M. Halsey
  • • Attendance: 27005
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Stoke City - Wolves Preview: Defeat would see visitors slump to longest losing streak in 20 years

Terry Connor's side travel to the Britannia Stadium on a dismal run of five consecutive Premier League defeats while the Potters have only picked up two points from five games


PROBABLE LINEUPS

STOKE CITY

Begovic
Wilkinson, Huth, Shawcross, Wilson
Pennant, Whitehead, Palacios, Jerome
Crouch, Fuller

WOLVES

Hennessey
Stearman, Bassong, Johnson, Ward
Kightly, Milijas, Edwards, Jarvis
Fletcher, Doyle


Potters boss Tony Pulis will be forced to make changes to the wide-left position after Matthew Etherington become a major doubt for selection, hobbling off of the field during last weekend's 2-0 defeat to Wigan Athletic.

This could mean that Cameron Jerome may retain his unfamiliar role on the wing.

With Jerome deputising in midfield, Ricardo Fuller could return to the starting line-up for the first time since completing a three-match ban, his substitute appearance in the game at the DW stadium his first since getting a red-card at Chelsea.

Wolves on the other hand have no immediate injury concerns coming into the game, with only long-term absentees Jody Craddock and John O'Hara unavailable for selection.

This could mean an unchanged side for Terry Connors men, but top-scorer Steven Fletcher could be paired with Kevin Doyle up front in place of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, after the recent 3-2 defeat to Bolton.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • If Wolves fall to a defeat in this game, it will be their sixth loss in a row and their worst run since the 1991-92 season.
  • Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey (pictured) is set to make his 150th league appearance for Wolves.
  • If Stoke City score, it will be the 25th goal Wolves that will have conceded in their last 8 Premier League games.
  • Tony Pulis' side also have the oldest average team age in the Premier League at 28.4. Wolves' average stands at 25.
  • If Stoke fail to win, they will equal their longest winless streak since returning to the top-flight.

Players to watch

R. Fuller

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The 32-year-old frontman has only made nine appearances for Stoke this season and was red-carded in the game against Chelsea in early March. However, he looked lively on his return from suspension against Wigan at the weekend, and will no doubt be desperate to make a positive impression on the Potters faithful if he returns to the starting XI.

W. Hennessey

Position: Goalkeeper

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The young Welsh goalkeeper has been one of Wolves' stand-out performers this season and cannot be blamed for the clubs' current position at the foot of the table. He'll have to be at his best on Saturday to keep out a Stoke side who have managed to score against high-fliers Manchester City and Tottenham in recent weeks.

Editor's Prediction

With Wolves' current dismal streak, it is difficult to see where the confidence to pick up a win will spring from. Having said that, the Molineux outfit produced a spirited display in their 3-2 defeat to Bolton at the weekend and will hope they can tighten up their leaky defence which has seen them fall to three 5-0 defeats in the past 7 games.

Stoke on the other hand will be disapointed to have lost against Wigan at the weekend after picking up two impressive 1-1 draws against Manchester City and Tottenham. With the return of Ricardo Fuller and the inclusion of Cameron Jerome on the wing, Tony Pulis' men have an abundance of pace that will prove tricky for a Wolves team low on confidence to deal with.

It will be this pace, combined with the height advantage of Peter Crouch in the area, that will prove the difference between the two teams. Also, with Wolves' current defensive record, it would be hard not to see past them conceeding in this game.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Stoke City

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wins
4
0
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Stoke City FC STO
Stoke City FC Stoke City
Draw
Wolverhampton Wanderers FC WOL
Wolverhampton Wanderers FC Wolverhampton Wanderers
69%
19%

Top 3 Predictions

Stoke City FC STO
2 - 0
Wolverhampton Wanderers FC WOL
Stoke City FC STO
2 - 1
Wolverhampton Wanderers FC WOL
Stoke City FC STO
3 - 0
Wolverhampton Wanderers FC WOL

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