The potters have been a handy source of Fantasy investment for the past few seasons; They are generally tight at the back, especially at home and have a number of attacking assets that generally produce the goods regularly. Having been fairly quiet in the transfer market most of us will already know about stokes assets but we will have a look anyway.
There is still a bit of uncertainty over who is the number one keeper at Stoke. Begovic and Sorenson are both priced at 4.5 and have fairly decent prospects; it’s just a matter of who gets the gig. Last year they scored 87 and 47 respectively…added together this makes a decent enough score for one 4.5 keeper. I reckon Begovic will play in the league and Sorenson will get the cups but it’s something that needs to be monitored before season start.
There are a few decent shouts in defence at Stoke as they are generally resolute and the centre backs have a big goal threat as nearly every throw is hoofed high to them either by Shotton or Delaps long thows. Huth (5.5) and Shawcross (5.0) both are decent options, Shawcross particularly so as he outscored Huth by 18 points last year. The full backs have slightly less appeal, with Wilson (4.5) probably your best bet if you need a cheap way into their defence. The other full back Shotton is classed as a mid and now loses appeal.
The same old suspects dominate things for stoke here, Tricky winger Ethrington(6.5) and OOP striker and penalty taker Walters (6.5) both have appeal when fixtures fall their way. Walters outscored Ethrington 141 to 120 last year thanks to penalty duties so it’s something to think about although Ethrington does take corners. Pennant at 5.5 is another option when on song but dosent always seem to be at the races. Down the list a bit further Delap and Shotton both appear at 5.0 and have the long through in their arsenal, so assists may come. At 4.5 are a number of defensive midfields which Tony Pulis relies on for a resolute formation… but rarely trouble the FPL scorers.
Stokes forwards do it hard, they have to contend with long balls all day long and usually just feed from the scraps off set pieces and long throws. Enter Beanpole Peter Crouch. (6.5) If you are bullish about stoke he isn’t the worst pick but I reckon there are better at that price range. I’d prefer Walters as an OOP with penalties anyway. Jones and Jerome both at 5.5 are both brutish forwards unstoppable on their day, it’s just a pity their days are few and far between….. a punt on Jones could come off though, he is a quality footballer.
Stokes fixtures start off rather stiffly so investment in their players may be limited to cheap defenders but keep an eye on their form. After last year’s European expedition they are back with full focus on the league and will be back to their tough playing best. (no more tears Arsene)