Media View: What to expect from Stoke
AFC Bournemouth travel to the bet365 Stadium this weekend, as they hunt for their second Premier League win of the season.
With the Potters on the wrong side of a 7-2 scoreline against Manchester City last week, they’ll certainly be looking to bounce back against Eddie Howe’s side.
Ahead of the match, we spoke to Martin Spinks of the Stoke Sentinel to see what the mood was like around the place and how Mark Hughes’ men look going into the game.
You can follow Martin on twitter at: @MSpinks10.
afcb.co.uk: How have Stoke looked this season? They obviously had a heavy defeat last week, but was that a one-off?
MS: We’re hoping so. Were all nursing sore heads after watching that. I think it was a one-off, I think Manchester City will do that to quite a few teams this season.
It’s now a question this weekend of how the players respond to that because it would have been hugely damaging to their confidence and pride.
afcb.co.uk: Do you think that will affect them on Saturday or make them determined to bounce back further?
MS: Well they’re only three points off the top ten, but they could be in the bottom three if Bournemouth beat them this weekend. That’s the crazy nature of the table at this stage of the season so theyre in a period of flux.
They’ve always prided themselves on bouncing back after poor defeats and poor performances in the past and very often they have done. However, there’s not been anything like 7-2 so they’re in unchartered territory this weekend as to how they respond.
Having said that, given the nature of the game with Bournemouth, it could be dubbed a bottom of the table clash so I think that will focus the mind.
afcb.co.uk: Has there been any one player that has stood out this season and who should the Cherries look out for this weekend?
MS: Well, they’ve had problems up front and they’ve chopped and changed. No-one has really grasping at it when it comes to goalscoring.
I think most fans would probably say that the player of the season so far has been Kurt Zouma, who’s on loan from Chelsea and obviously has been playing at the back. That gives you an idea of where a lot of the action has been this season.
afcb.co.uk: Finally, with regard to injury news, what’s the latest from Mark Hughes’ squad?
MS: There’s a lot of question marks. It looks like Xherdan Shaqiri is out. Bruno Martens-Indi is also out. Ryan Shawcross could be back after a long lay off and young Tom Edwards, an 18-year-old who recently made his debut, could also return after being injured last week. But, it’s really is up in the air with regard to who plays in defence and what defence he plays.
He’s favoured a back three with wingbacks all season until last week, when he went to a flat back four, but that doesn’t explain the scoreline. Nevertheless, he has decisions to make in terms of personnel and what system he uses.
Martin writes for the Stoke Sentinel and you can visit their sports page here.
Manager offers pre-Stoke City thoughts
On Stoke’s desire to bounce back from their 7-2 Manchester City loss…
They’ll be looking for a response, games like Man City you have to take out on context, some of the football they played that day was incredible. From our perspective that is just a strange game given the scoreline.
Watching the game back several times and you have to rewind it, watch it again and admire the incredible football. That’s what the Premier League is all about and all credit to Man City.
It was difficult to judge Stoke too much as it was a one off, looking back at their other games they’re a tough team and we know they’ll be tough to play against.
On improving the Cherries’ away form…
It’s about us, we’re desperate to win, very keen to win away from home and build our away form to build some momentum. The performances have been there in the main, if you take the Everton and Tottenham games we performed well in both and it’s about putting that together, being a bit more ruthless in front of goal and a bit better back and I think we’ll get there.
Winning away is hard but that’s what we have to do. I’ll defend the team and how they’ve done in the last month knowing that they can still improve and get better.
There are a lot of extreme reactions one way or the other to results. We know that we have to start winning points and quickly. I’m confident in the players’ ability and character to come through.
On Jermain Defoe’s role in the squad…
Jermain’s going to be a big player for us and he will have many uses, both from the start and from the bench. Last week it worked to an extent and but for a fantastic Lloris save he could have been on the scoresheet. He will score goals in this team.
I wouldn’t rule anything out, we’re looking for formulas to go away to the big teams and get results. You have to find ways to be strong enough at the back and compact in midfield to give your side a base from which to build on.
We’re not being clinical in front of goal but I back the players to turn that around.
On Asmir Begovic, who returns to Stoke on Saturday…
He’s got vast experience in the Premier League and in international football as well. He’s very good in the training ground and dressing room, he’s a very consistent guy and that’s been very good for us.
He works well with the other goalkeepers, an important role as they are often working away from the main group. He’s having a big role to play this season and we’re very happy to have him here.
Injury news: Fraser doubtful
AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe will wait to make a late call on Ryan Fraser ahead of the trip to Stoke City.
The Scottish winger missed the game against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, while Brad Smith and Tyrone Mings remain absent through injury.
"Brad Smith and Tyrone Mings won't be involved," he said.
"Brad has seen a specialist, he won't need surgery but he'll be out for a period of time.
"Ryan Fraser is 50/50 at the minute to make the game, we'll get his hamstring checked.
"Apart from those injuries, we're OK ahead of the game."
Lewis Cook shakes hands with Eddie Howe at the start of the session.
The boys warm up with a lap around the pitch.
Nathan Ake being put through his paces.
Joshua King darts in and out of the poles, as the Cherries prepare for the session.
Andrew Surman looking focused.
The lads enjoying themselves during training.
Joshua King finds something amusing during training.
Jordon Ibe plays a pass during a training drill.
Adam Smith is all smiles during the session.
Simon Francis cracks a smile during training.
Junior Stanislas looking relaxed.
Eddie Howe demonstrates a drill to the players.
The lads share a joke as they finish the session.
Dan Gosling enjoying the session.
The players arrive on the training pitches ready for the session.
Buy your training gear in store or online.
Five point preview: Stoke City
This weekend, the Cherries head to the bet365 Stadium to take on Stoke City, but what should you look out for ahead of the fixture?
Here are five points previewing Saturday's clash.
A team keen to bounce back...
Last weekend saw the Potters concede seven goals to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
While City were at their best, fans will be keen to see a response against the Cherries on Saturday.
Martin Smith, in his column for the Stoke Sentinel, told the local paper: “Fans are always prepared to tolerate a one-off defeat if they see some sort of positive response, and all Stokies will be waiting with baited breath this weekend to see how our team, and manager, set about making amends at the bet365 Stadium against Bournemouth.”
A bumper crowd...
With the last point in mind, it promises to be a raucous atmosphere that awaits Eddie Howe’s men this weekend.
Apparently at the time of writing, approximately 28,000 tickets have been sold, with the Cherries taking a 1,500 allocation.
Last year’s atmosphere was electric when Stoke went through a positive second-half spell during the Cherries 1-0 win, but whether it will affect the players on the pitch remains to be seen.
Diouf could shift to a central role...
After playing on the right side in recent weeks, Diouf has scored twice in two games, as well as forcing Kyle Walker into an own goal at the Etihad.
A strong player, the Senegalese forward could move to a central role with the emergence of right sided youngster Tom Edwards who made his debut against City.
Edwards is Stafford-born, just 18-years old and scored in the middle on Saturday. He went off injured but could play against the Cherries.
bet365 stadium form...
Stoke have won two league games this season, with both coming at home.
They have beaten Arsenal and Southampton in the Potteries, as well as picking up a point against high-flying Manchester United.
They’ve only lost one home game this campaign, a 4-0 reverse at the hands of Chelsea.
A return for Asmir...
Formerly of Stoke City, Asmir Begovic heads back to his club keen to keep them out this weekend.
The Bosnian was with the Potters between 2010-2015 and said of the game: “It’s going to feel great going back there and seeing some familiar faces.
“It’ll be better if we win and overall it’ll be nice to return, but the focus is on Bournemouth and the task ahead.
“We’ll go to the game with a positive mindset and hopefully things will turn for us that weekend and we can make someone else pay.”
Ref Watch: Lee Probert in charge at Stoke
Lee Probert will be the man in the middle, as the Cherries travel to the bet365 Stadium on Saturday.
The 45-year-old has taken charge of two Premier League games this season and three Championship affairs, handing out seven yellow cards and awarding one penalty across the five fixtures.
The last time that Probert officiated a Cherries outing was back in May, as Eddie Howe’s side dispatched of Burnley 2-1 at Vitality Stadium.
The Gloucestershire-born official has plenty of experience to his name, having refereed the 2014 FA Cup final between Arsenal and Hull City, as well as a host of Europa League qualifiers.
On Saturday, Probert will be assisted by Adrian Holmes and Derek Eaton, with Jeremy Simpson the fourth official.