West Brom v Stoke City

Stoke make the short trip down the M6 to face former boss Tony Pulis at the Hawthorns in a Midlands Derby.

The Potters will come into this fresh after a week off while West Brom were in the FA Cup at Aston Villa last Saturday.

Captain Ryan Shawcross has trained all week after recovering from a back injury and will be considered by Mark Hughes.

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Philipp Wollscheid went off injured against Everton with a groin problem and is still a doubt meaning Geoff Cameron or Shawcross could replace him.

Mark Hughes told his press conference: “The break has served us well, we managed to get four days off, but the lads now want to get back to business. They are refreshed.

“At this time of the year some teams are guilty of taking their eye off the ball, but that certainly won’t happen here.”

Hughes has possibly set himself for a war of words after saying: “I got the job because there was a feeling that the team was starting to fail.”

Only Liverpool and Arsenal have picked up more points than Stoke since Boxing Day and will be looking to close the gap on Southampton in seventh.

Former Stoke boss Tony Pulis took over at West Brom at the start of the year and has revived the club taking them to 13th in the Premier League table. That has seen him named Manager of the Month for February.

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However the Baggies have struggled against Stoke only beating the Potters once in their last 13 and lost all five Premier League meetings at home.

Both strikers Saido Berahino and Brown Ideye are believed to be struggling with injuries after playing through the pain barrier in recent week.

January signing Callum McManaman looks set to miss out after sustaining a foot injury against Aston Villa in the FA Cup.

Michael Oliver takes charge of this fixture at the Hawthorns replacing Kevin Friend. Oliver was in the news this week after his busy night at Old Trafford during Man United v Arsenal.

The Northumberland based official refereed Stoke three times this season. He has had mixed results overseeing a defeat, a win and a draw. The 30-year-old has taken charge of West Brom three times, a defeat and two goalless draws.

He will be assisted by Mick McDonough and Stuart Burt.


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