Stoke City. Hmmm. A once consistent source of Clean Sheets last year became a leakier defence, in the aim to create more at the attacking end of the pitch. With a few new signings up top, they should be an interesting proposition.
There shouldn’t be too much trouble picking it here, with Huth and Shawcross the obvious candidates to lock down the CB position. Pieters is pretty much a lock at LB too, while Bardsley seems to have the first chance at the RB slot given Cameron‘s slow start to the season.
Muniesa is one that’s been featuring heavily in the pre-season, but to get a start he’d need to dismantle the CB pairing of Huthcross. New boy Teixeira hasn’t featured too much in the pre-season either and I’m expecting kid gloves to be used with him. Marc Wilson is still around but… he’s….well…. a joke of a footballer.
Investing in Stoke’s attacking options is a lot like walking in on your sister in the shower. It really shouldn’t ever happen, but unfortunately from time to time you find yourself covered in soapy shame.
Firstly, don’t fucking touch Whelan or N’Zonzi. They will play too deep, and, well, they’re Stoke midfielders. Ireland will be the link between the pivot and the forward three, but still isn’t worth touching.
Arnautovic hasn’t featured as often as I’d like to see this pre-season, but with Odemwingie his only competition out wide I’d expect him to suit up first match.
Adam hasn’t been doing a lot in the pre-season, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start for Whelan. 50/50 call, ignore both.
Diouf ticks a lot of boxes when you’re looking for a striker. He should be the main man at Stoke, and at £6.5 represents pretty good value. Pretty good value you say? Yeah, just pretty good. Because this next bloke is EXCELLENT value.
Bojan Krkic was a previous Barcelona wunderkind in the mould of Gerard Deloufeu. Remember him last year for Everton? Yes, his last name needs to buy a fucking vowel, but at £5.5 he represents tremendous value for anyone looking to fluctuate between a 3-5-2 and a 3-4-3 formation depending on fixtures.
Crouch no. Jerome lol.
Consider: Bojan, Diouf, Pieters
Wait & See: Arnautovic, Huthcross.
Avoid: Anybody else wearing a stoke ‘costume’.