STOKE CITY Vs WALSALL - MATCH PREVIEW STOKE CITY Vs WALSALL - MATCH PREVIEW
Posted by: Bescot Banter

STOKE CITY Vs WALSALL - MATCH PREVIEW

The Saddlers head into Wednesday's trip to Stoke City on the back of a disappointing performance and result against Brentford, Saturday's defeat was very disappointing considering the undefeated run that had proceeded it, however we must now focus on Wednesday.
The Saddlers head into Wednesday's trip to Stoke City on the back of a disappointing performance and result against Brentford.

Saturday's defeat was very disappointing considering the undefeated run that had proceeded it, however we must now focus on Wednesday as manager Dean Smith told saddlers.co.uk; "We now turn our attention to the next game at Stoke on Wednesday. It'll be another tough one, but we're looking forward to it. It's one that the lads can go and enjoy and play with freedom"

Stoke have had an even start to the season, narrowly defeated by Liverpool on the opening day, and edging a 2-1 victory over recently promoted Crystal Palace last Saturday, with goals from Charlie Adam and Ryan Shawcross respectively.

Stoke manager Mark Hughes has sought to stress his intentions to field a strong team, and assure the team are aware of a potential shock, he told stokecityfc.com; "We want to do well in it and we want to progress in it, so I’ll be putting out a strong team. There will be one or two changes but nothing wholesale because I want to do well.

"We've got a few bumps and bruises and we've got to protect guys who played against Palace at the weekend but I’ll be going strong in the team in the competition because I want to progress.

"Sometimes there are shocks in the competition because perhaps teams don’t give the opposition enough respect in terms of their team selection. I've been bitten by that in the past and I didn't like the feeling so hopefully it won’t happen again."

The two clubs last crossed paths during an FA Cup tie in January 2006, The Potters were victorious in a close affair, with goals from Mamady Sidibe and Luke Chadwick, the Saddlers replied through loanee Kevin James however City held on to make the filth round of the competition.

Overall, Stoke lead the Saddlers with twelve victories to eight with six draws between the two sides.

Walsall will have an almost fully-fit squad to select from and should see the return of left-back Andy Taylor following an ankle injury picked up during pre-season, midfielder Adam Chambers also faces a late fitness test.

Stoke have Wilson Palacios fit again following minor surgery and is expected to start. American winger Brek Shea could also be involved as he steps up his fitness following his long-standing knee injury.

What are your score predictions for the game? Add your comments below...
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