Stoke City take on Burnley at the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday afternoon knowing that a win over The Clarets could see them climb as high as seventh in the Premier League table.
The Potters go into the game in a good vein of form and were able to secure a victory on the road against Watford last weekend despite being forced into five changes due to injury and suspension. Mark Hughes will be boosted by the possible returns of Glenn Whelan and Ryan Shawcross from injury whilst Joe Allen, who has been key to Stoke’s success this season will resume his midfield role after serving a one match suspension.
Burnley, meanwhile, have made a relatively solid start to the season after achieving promotion to the Premier League for the second time under manager Sean Dyche. The Clarets look much more suited to the demands of top-flight football than they did two years ago when they suffered relegation, but players and supporters alike will know that there is still plenty of work to do if they are to stay clear of the bottom three this season.
Stoke go into the contest in fine form having lost just one of their last eight Premier League games. Despite selection issues Mark Hughes’ side bounced back from a defeat to Bournemouth in their previous home game with a comfortable victory at Vicarage Road last weekend. An added incentive for The Potters will be knowledge that a win over Burnley could see them climb into the top seven and that only Chelsea (21), Liverpool (20) and Arsenal (18) have picked up more points in the last eight fixtures.
Burnley have lost both of their previous Premier League fixtures but Sean Dyche will have been content with his side’s strong performance in the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City last time out. However, The Clarets have yet to win any domestic matches away from home this season and, somewhat ironically, they picked up the only point on their travels in a goalless draw at Old Trafford.
Mark Hughes will be boosted by the return of Joe Allen after the Welsh midfielder sat out of last weekend’s victory due to a one game suspension. Glenn Whelan and club captain Ryan Shawcross are both close to a return, although it is unclear as to whether the pair will feature against Burnley. Stoke are still without long-term injury absentees Jack Butland, Phil Bardsley, Geoff Cameron, Ibrahim Afellay and Stephen Ireland.
Burnley are still without superstar goalkeeper Tom Heaton due to injury. The England international has been in fantastic form for The Clarets this season but it will be the highly experienced Paul Robinson that deputizes once more. Midfielder Dean Marney is hoping to be fit but Johann Gudmundsson will miss out.
Stoke City Predicted Starting XI
Burnley Predicted Starting XI
Stoke City are in good form and will be enhanced by the return of Joe Allen as well as the duo of Glenn Whelan and Ryan Shawcross. The Potters will also be motivated by the opportunity to move up to seventh whilst Burnley have been poor on their travels so far this season. A home win beckons.
Predicted Score: Stoke City 2, Burnley 0
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