Tony Pulis and David Moyes both set to make changes as they look to push into top half...Getting Back To Basics
Pulis will be hoping for a swift about turn in his side's home form, with the Potters losing their last two games at the Britannia in fairly convincing fashion.
First a masterclass in attacking play from Blackpool and then a dogged Fulham drew groans from the stands, and Stoke need to avoid defeat to stay in the top half of the table and not fall into the trap of a relegation scrap.
The Potters will be hoping for a much better display than the reverse fixture at Goodison, where they failed to muster a chance of note and were well beaten.
Rising Up The Ladder
A win for Everton will send them above the Potters and into the top half of the table at the start of 2011, and Moyes will be hopeful after seeing his side pick up three points against the Potters at Goodison earlier in the campaign and unbeaten against Stoke last season.
And the Toffees have managed to pick up their away form in recent weeks, with a brilliant victory at Manchester City perhaps providing the launchpad for the Merseyside team's European hopes.
After the disastrous display against Fulham on Tuesday, expect Tony Pulis to make at least one change to the side, with forward Jonathan Walters almost certain to be dropped to the bench.
But don't expect summer signing Eidur Gudjohnsen to figure at all. The Icelander, a Champions League winner with Barcelona, arrived with high hopes, but a bulging waistline and a fixed tactical set-up have meant that the 32-year-old hasn't been able to squeeze into the starting line-up since signing late in August from Monaco, and local press are reporting that the club will listen to offers in January for the player's services.
Matthew Etherington will have been nursed through training after picking up a knock at Blackburn on Boxing Day before putting in a subdued display against Fulham, that eventually led to a rare early substitution for the left winger. However, he is likely to start if he can prove his fitness given the paucity of options available while Robert Huth misses out after amassing five bookings and earning a suspension.
Possible starting XI: Begovic; Wilkinson, Faye, Shawcross, Collins; Pennant, Wilson, Whitehead, Etherington; Fuller, Jones.
David Moyes is definitely without Dutch defender John Heitinga, and midfielder Leon Osman is also likely to be absent with a foot injury.
Phil Jagielka is poised to return to the starting XI after missing out on the trip to West Ham, while the Toffees are expected to name at least one nominal striker after Louis Saha, Jermaine Beckford and Yakubu all started on the bench at Upton Park.
Possible starting XI: Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Coleman, Neville, Fellaini, Arteta; Cahill; Yakubu.