Saturday, 29 November 2008

Stoke v Hull Premiership Preview: Lawrence Back In Contention For Potters In The Clash Of The Premier League Debutantes

Stoke City play, Phil Brown’s Hull City in the Premier League at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

The Potters will go into this clash of the Premiership debutantes full of confidence, with Stoke’s only defeat in November a 5-0 drubbing at Old Trafford at the hands of Premier League Champions Manchester United. Stoke have beaten Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion at the Britannia this month and have been impressive at home this season, with 5 wins from 7 matches. Although the Potters are just 3 points outside the relegation zone their recent form suggests that manager Tony Pulis has a side capable of surviving in the top-flight.

Hull are still in 6th in their debut Premier League campaign, but the Tigers have stuttered a little during November. Brown will be pleased that Hull managed to stop a mini-slump of three straight defeats by drawing their last two matches against Manchester City at the KC Stadium and then away at Fratton Park to Portsmouth last weekend, where the Tigers fought back from a two-goal deficit.

Pulis will be without defender Ryan Shawcross (back) and summer signing striker Dave Kitson (knee) for the visit of Hull to the Britannia, but could welcome back Liam Lawrence, who has been out with a sprained ankle after tripping over his dog.

The Tigers are still unable to call on summer signing from Tottenham Hotspur Anthony Gardner (thigh) and Craig Fagan (broken leg), who are both two weeks away from full fitness, but Brown could have Andy Dawson available for the trip to the Britannia if he can shake off an achilles problem in time.

Stoke City: (from) Sorensen, Griffin, Higginbotham, Olofinjana, Cort, Whelan, Lawrence, Soares, Cresswell, Fuller, Sidibe, Pugh, Pericard, Matteo, Diao, Faye, Tonge, Delap, Diagne-Faye, Phillips, Wilkinson, Simonsen, Dickinson, Sonko

Hull City: (from) Myhill, Doyle, Dawson, Ashbee, Brown, Turner, Barmby, Windass, Geovanni, Hughes, Duke, France, Garcia, Mendy, Halmosi, McShane, Folan, Boateng, Ricketts, Marney, King, Zayatte, Cousin, Warner, Featherstone, Atkinson, Stelios, Cooper

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