Stoke City vs Leicester City
Date: Saturday 4th November
Venue: The Britannia
TV: Sky Sports Premier League
Stoke City host Leicester City this Saturday lunchtime on Sky Sports – a win for either side will catapult them into the top half of the Premier League table, for at least the early afternoon anyway.
Both teams are coming off the back of hard-thought victories in game-week 9 of this seasons campaign with Leicester successfully seeing off Everton, in Claude Puel’s first game as manager of the foxes, while Stoke were victorious over early season high fliers, Watford.
Interestingly, Claude Puel’s last game as Southampton manager was a defeat at the hands of Mark Hughes’ Stoke City and Hughes will be looking to make it two wins from two vs Puel come this Saturday lunchtime.Embed from Getty Images
The previous two meetings between the two clubs in which Stoke City have hosted have ended 2-2, with Leicester City coming back from two goals down on both occasions to obtain a draw.
Mark Hughes is expected to keep a very much similar line up following the success at Watford last weekend.
The one change may be Ryan Shawcross as he is a slight doubt after picking up a minimal thigh injury at Vicarage Road. Hughes is hopeful his captain will come off fit for the fixture however due to little training this week, he may remain on the side-lines. Yet, on a positive note for Stoke, centre half Bruno Martins Indi is fit and available to provide cover if Shawcross is deemed unfit.
Geoff Cameron remains missing as he is still suffering from concussion. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting looks to remain the lone-striker with Crouch and Berahino providing further attacking options for Hughes.
Claude Puel’s only injury concern is Ben Chilwell who is possibly set to miss out due to a minor knock to his knee. But, if he is to remain side-lined, Albrighton is expected to retake his place in the starting 11.Embed from Getty Images
Robert Huth and Matty James remain long term absentees for Puel and Leicester. Therefore, aside from Chilwell there are no fresh injury concerns, so changes to the starting 11 are unlikely due to the success of last weekend’s performance against manger less Everton. City produced a dominant first-half display and won comfortably.
Riyad Mahrez picked up the number 10 role which he could undertake once again and with Mahrez sitting behind Vardy, Demari Gray was given the chance to shine and that’s exactly what he did. After signing a 4-year deal earlier this week, Gray will be hopeful to retain his place in the starting 11. Shinji Okazaki will feel unfortunate if he is to remain benched again after his consistent start to this season but Puel has strong options on the bench if the game is not going to plan for him.
Predicted Score: Stoke City 1 Leicester City 1. In the last 5 fixtures between the top clubs, Leicester have only lost once. Yet, Stoke and Hughes will be wanting to produce back-to-back victories for the first time this season. I think both sides would settle for a point.
Written by Eamon Kitching.