Stoke City 2012/13 Season Preview

We take a look at Stoke City’s prospects leading up to the new Premier League season.

Manager: Tony Pulis

Stadium: Britannia Stadium – 27,740

Nickname: The Potters

2011/12 League Position: 14th

Summer Signings

Jamie Ness – Rangers – Free

Key Players

Peter Crouch – Crouch was the Potters’ top scorer last season and will be their main hope again for goals this year.  

Robert Huth – Ryan Shawcross often takes the plaudits but the giant German, who recently penned a new deal, has been a rock at the back for three seasons now. In a team that wins by slender margins, his aerial goal threat is an invaluable asset.

Jonathon Walters – The Ireland hitman works his socks off for Stoke and he’s extremely dangerous from the penalty spot.

Likely Line-Up

Begovic, Shotton, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Pennant, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington, Crouch, Walters

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Team Tactics

  • The Potters are famous for their physical play and strong tackling.
  • Pennant and Etherington will look to use the wings; both will create plenty of goals.
  • Crouch will play as the target man, while Walters will float off him and drift out wide to collect the ball.

Opening Fixtures

August 18th Reading (A), 26th Arsenal (H), September 1st Wigan (A), 15th Man City (H), 22nd Chelsea (A), 29th Swansea (H)

Verdict

Stoke go into the season with a pretty settled team, but I’d expect them to make a few more signings before the transfer window closes. The fact Pulis has managed to keep hold of Stokes’ big stars so far will be a big boost for his side.

The Potters are always a tough side to beat, but the fans this year will hope for a top half finish. I think this if fairly optimistic considering the team’s lack of transfer activity. In my opinion Stoke should probably settle for a mid-table position. 14th

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