Stoke City play Roy Keane’s Sunderland in the Premier League at the Britannia Stadium on Wednesday.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis will have to pick his Potters side up after their 3-0 loss to Manchester City at the Eastlands Stadium, but will take heart from the win against struggling Tottenham Hotspur in their last match at the Britannia. However, Stoke are still in the bottom three, where they have been or thereabouts since the start of the season and unless City can string some results together quickly, they are already looking like going straight back down to the Championship.
Sunderland have built slowly and methodically since the appointment of Keane as boss at the Stadium of Light in 2006. Guiding them out of the Championship and surviving comfortably in his first Premier League season of management, Keane has made some astute buys in the summer and goes to the Britannia on the back of a 2-1 derby victory against Newcastle United and are 9th in the Premiership.
The Potters are still without Liam Lawrence (ankle) and Andrew Davies (knee) for the visit of the Black Cats, with Pulis set to unleash the long throw of Rory Delap against Sunderland summer defensive signings Anton Ferdinand and George McCartney.
Keane will decide whether to risk defender Nyron Nosworthy (hamstring), who was on the bench for the clash with the Magpies, with Darren Ward (back) out for the trip to Stoke. Keane will have to make a decision on who to play up front against Stoke, with Kenwyne Jones back in contention and Djibril Cisse and El-Hadji Diouf starting to form a solid understanding.
Stoke City: (from) Sorensen, Griffin, Higginbotham, Olofinjana, Cort, Whelan, Soares, Cresswell, Fuller, Sidibe, Kitson, Pugh, Pericard, Matteo, Shawcross, Diao, A Faye, de Laet, Tonge, Delap, A Diagne-Faye, Phillips, Wilkinson, Simonsen, Dickinson, Sonko
Sunderland: (from) Gordon, Nosworty, Ferdinand, McCartney, Malbranque, Leadbitter, Whitehead, Bardsley, Cisse, Richardson, Diouf, Miller, Murphy, Collins, Chopra, Jones, Yorke, Reid, Chimbonda, Healy, M’Voto, Hartley, Connolly, Fulop, Waghorn, Dowson, Meyler, Prica, Colgan