STOKE CITY v WEST BROMWICH ALBION
Barclays Premier League
Saturday 16th March 2013,
A victory for Albion would see them set a new club
record for most wins (14) during a Premier League season. The club's previous
high of 13 was set in 2011/12.
Stoke have won just one of their last nine league games and have also gone eight league home games without a clean
Albion are attempting to record successive victories at Stoke for the first time
in almost 82 years.
Baggies' striker Romelu Lukaku needs two goals to equal Peter Odemwingie's club
record of 15 Premier League goals in a season.
The only teams to have conceded fewer goals than Stoke this
season are Manchester
Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Albion's last six games: Swansea
City (H) W 2-1, Chelsea (A) L 1-0, Sunderland (H) W 2-1, Liverpool (A) W 2-0,
Tottenham Hotspur (H) L 1-0, Everton (A) L 2-1.
Stoke City's last six games:
Newcastle United (A) L 2-1, West Ham United (H) L 1-0, Fulham (A) L 1-0, Reading
(H) W 2-1, Arsenal (A) L 1-0, Wigan Athletic (H) D 2-2.
Shane Long and Steven Reid are both doubts having
failed to recover from the injuries that forced them to miss last weekend's win
against Swansea City.
Zoltan Gera and George Thorne are both out with
Foster, Myhill, Daniels,
Reid, Jones, Olsson, McAuley, Tamas, Ridgewell, Popov, Dorrans, Mulumbu, Yacob,
Brunt, Morrison, Thomas, Lukaku, Long, Fortune, Odemwingie, Rosenberg, Sawyers,
Huth serves the final game of a three-match ban with Marc Wilson expected to
once again deputise.
Etherington faces a late fitness test having already missed the last two games
with a back problem.
could return after being forced off with a knock in last weekend's defeat by
Begovic, Sorensen, Cameron,
Wilkinson, Shawcross, Whelan, Nzonzi, Walters, Kightly, Etherington, Jones,
Whitehead, Crouch, Jerome, Adam, Palacios, Shotton, Shea, Wilson, Owen.
Baggies' boss Steve Clarke:
“All the games in the Premier
League are physical in some way, It’s a physical league, it’s a good league, and
it’s a competitive league.
“Stoke have their way of playing, very successfully. They’ve been established in
the Premier League for a long time now and Tony [Pulis] has done a great job
there. It’s always a difficult game and, if you go back to the game we had at
The Hawthorns earlier in the season, it was a close, competitive game, and
unfortunately for us on the day Stoke got the break and managed to get a 1-0 win
out of a game that was drifting towards a 0-0.
“We’ll go there and try and do what we did last season with West Brom, when we
scored late to get three points. That’s what we’ll try and do again this season.
We’ve concentrated on ourselves, the way we work and the way we want to play.
Every week we touch on the opposition, we speak a little bit about them. But the
main aim for me is to make sure we play as well as we can play and if we do that
hopefully the result will be positive.
“There are no doubts about
this team - this team can battle as well. That’s what I like about this group of
players. If they have to play football to win the game they can do that. If they
have to dig in and battle to get a result they can do that as well.”
Stoke boss Tony Pulis:
“When we drew at West Ham earlier this season, Steve Nzonzi
hit the underside of the bar with a shot which bounced back out. Last week at
Newcastle, Cabaye’s free
kick hits the bar and goes in. It shows there is a fine margin between getting a
result and not getting one.
“We’re on a bad run of form in terms of results, but not
performances. At St James’ Park, that was as well as we have played in a long
time. Even Alan Pardew felt his side were fortunate to get the result in the
end, but that’s the way it’s been going.
“It’s all about the results. When we went 10 games unbeaten,
we played exactly the same way and everyone was jumping around. If you win
games, people are happy. If you aren’t winning matches, they let you know about
it. You have to accept that as a manager, but I haven’t changed anything that we
weren’t doing back when things were going so well for us. The best thing we can
do is put in another performance like last Sunday, and then hope that we get one
or two breaks as well.
“We need our supporters because they can help us enormously.
We’re just hoping that they turn up and really get behind the team. The players
are the most important people at the Football Club. They thrive on confidence
and the supporters can help in that respect.”
Albion Win: 2/1, Stoke City Win: 11/8, Draw: 9/4.
Lukaku 11/2, K Jones 6/1, Long 6/1, Jerome 7/1, Odemwingie 7/1, Owen 8/1,
Walters 8/1, Adam 10/1, Fortuné 10/1,
Rosenberg 10/1, Etherington 12/1, Shea 12/1, Morrison 12/1, Kightly 14/1, Brunt
16/1, Dorrans 16/1, Thomas 18/1, Mulumbu 20/1.
Mike Dean (Wirral)
Has taken charge of three Albion games this season - the
1-1 draw at Tottenham in August, the 4-2 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of
Light in November and the 2-1 New Year's Day defeat at home to Fulham.
The Wirral official has refereed one Stoke game
this season - the 3-1 defeat at Swansea in January.
He has handed out 105 yellow cards and four red cards in
30 games so far this season.
Tickets will be available from the away turnstiles
at the Britannia Stadium on the day of the game priced at £30 adults, £17 under
17s, £21 over 65s and £14 under 11s.
Cloudy with a 30% chance of showers, 7°C.
Both Albion and Stoke were founder members of the
Football League and the first league meeting of the two clubs came at
Stoke on the opening day of the competition's inaugural season of 1888/89.
Albion won the game 2-0 and in doing so became the first team to top the
table, Joe Wilson and George Woodhall the Albion scorers. The return game
in December saw the scoreline repeated with Wilson once again on the
scoresheet along with Billy Bassett.
Albion's biggest win over Stoke came in December 1988,
the Baggies running out 6-0 winners at The Hawthorns with Don Goodman,
John Paskin and Gary Robson all scoring two goals each. Other big wins for Albion include 6-2
(1965), 5-1 (1933) 5-2 (1970) and 5-3 (1964). The latter game saw Albion
full-back Bobby Cram score a hat-trick.
City's biggest win over Albion came at Stoke in February 1937 when the
Potters inflicted Albion's heaviest ever league defeat, strolling to a
10-3 victory with Freddie Steele scoring five of the goals.
Albion have an awful recent record against Stoke, having won just three of
the last 32 league and cup meetings between the two clubs. Stoke have also won five and lost just one of the seven Premier League encounters between the sides.
Albion's last victory against Stoke at The Hawthorns
came in September 2003
when a goal from Scott Dobie was enough to give Gary Megson's men a 1-0 victory.
The Baggies' 2-1 victory
at the Britannia Stadium in January of last season was their first on Stoke soil for
thirty years, the last win previously coming in September 1982 when goals from Cyrille
Regis, Peter Eastoe and Ally Brown gave a Ron Wylie led side a 3-0 win.
LAST LEAGUE MEETING AT THE BRITANNIA STADIUM
Stoke City 1-2 Albion
Barclays Premier League
Saturday 21 January 2012,
Sorensen, Woodgate (Pennant 52), Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Shotton (Jerome 78),
Whelan, Delap (Wilkinson 88), Etherington, Walters, Crouch. Subs not used:
Begovic, Jones, Fuller, Whitehead.
Albion: Foster, Tamas, McAuley, Olsson, Shorey, Thomas (Dawson 90),
Mulumbu, Dorrans, Morrison, Cox (Tchoyi 87), Fortune (Long 83). Subs not
used: Fulop, Mattock, Jara Reyes, Odemwingie.
Morrison 35, Dorrans 90.
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire).
ended their 30-year hoodoo at Stoke and brought the curtain down on their
miserable run in the Premier League. After losing 13 games and drawing five of
their previous 18 visits to this part of the Potteries, it required two mistakes
from Stoke goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen to gift Albion the points. Sorensen first
allowed past him a low 30-yard shot from James Morrison, and after substitute
Cameron Jerome seemingly salvaged a point in the 86th minute, Graham Dorrans
then beat the Dane in injury time with a 25-yard free-kick. In fairness, Albion
thoroughly deserved this rare win over their Midlands rivals as Morrison also
twice hit the woodwork, whilst they carved out other more memorable
opportunities to end a run of three straight league defeats. The first came in
the fifth minute, with winger Jerome Thomas thwarted by the outstretched left
foot of Sorensen after shaking off the challenge of right-back Jonathan Woodgate.
Thomas then turned supplier in the 14th minute, picking out Simon Cox just
inside the area with a delightful pull back, only for the Republic of Ireland
international to slice his shot horribly wide. It was not until midway through
the first half that Stoke finally created their first effort, albeit somewhat
fortuitously as a long punt upfield was missed by both Nicky Shorey and Gabriel
Tamas. That allowed Jonathan Walters a clear run on goal, but as he fired off an
early shot, Tamas did superbly to backtrack and produce a vital block. Moments
later Morrison tested Sorensen for the first time after being allowed a 20-yard
run on goal before letting fly with a rasping shot from 25 yards. However,
leaping to his left, Sorensen brilliantly tipped the ball onto his crossbar. It
was a portent of what followed just moments later, and at first there was no
danger when captain Ryan Shawcross cleared a long ball upfield. Collecting
Youssuf Mulumbu's nod forward inside the centre circle, Morrison was still 70
yards from goal, but he was allowed to run and run by a Stoke side that stood
off him before he struck a 30-yarder directly at Sorensen. The City goalkeeper
should have collected, only to be beaten by a slight last-second swerve on the
ball, clawing at it desperately as it ran behind him and crossed the line. One
contentious moment before the half ended when Peter Crouch and Albion skipper
Jonas Olsson clashed, the latter returning after missing the previous four games
with a calf injury. The Stoke striker reached around the front of the centre
back, with his right hand coming in contact with Olsson's face. Fortunately for
Crouch the incident was missed by referee Anthony Taylor, but picked up on
replays as it was shown a couple of times, whilst Olsson to his credit did not
make a meal of it.
Inside the first six minutes of the second half Albion should have put the game
to bed, but first Marc-Antoine Fortune was denied by a block from Robert Huth
after a pull back from Dorrans. Within a minute Sorensen was beaten again by
Morrison, only for the Scot to despair as his stunning hooked half-volley from
20 yards struck the right-hand post. When Jermaine Pennant replaced Woodgate in
the 52nd minute, a previously off-colour Stoke side raised their game. Marc
Wilson first fired a 25-yard drive wide and Walters glanced a header inches past
the right-hand post. In between, with gaps on the counter, Cox's failure to
adequately connect with a sidefoot shot after racing onto a clearance from
Foster and stealing in behind the Stoke defence allowed Sorensen to save. The
reprieve seemed mighty in the 71st minute when referee Anthony Taylor harshly
appeared to have awarded a penalty when Walters ran into Gareth McAuley. But
from the spot the Stoke striker went for power, with his shot striking the left
knee of a diving Foster. With the game reaching its conclusion, 73rd-minute sub
Jerome then glanced Pennant's right-wing free-kick beyond Foster 13 minutes
later, seemingly keeping the hoodoo alive. But in the first minute of injury
time Sorensen was guilty of allowing Dorrans' long-range free-kick flash past
him into his bottom left-hand corner to further add to his afternoon of woe.
Baggies' keeper Ben Foster started his professional career with Stoke but
failed to make a single first team appearance.
Current Albion assistant head coach Kevin Keen
spent over six years as a Stoke City player.
players to have turned out at various levels for both clubs are: George
Baddeley, Gary Bannister, Paul Barron, Tommy Broad, Fred Brown, Garth Crooks, Neil Cutler, Bill
Davies, Paul Dyson, Wayne Ebanks, Fred Fenton, Ross Fielding, Sean Flynn, Tony Ford, Ricardo Fuller, Gary Hackett,
Graham Harbey, Willie Hendry, Carl Hoefkens, Russell Hoult, Geoff Hurst, Joe Johnson, Tony Kelly, Neil
Mackenzie, Steve Parkin, Paul Peschisolido, Graham Potter, David Powell,
Paul Reece, Brian Rice, Fred Rouse, Maurice Setters, Barry Siddall, Larus Sigurdsson,
Andy Smith, Andrew Smith, Derek Statham, Mickey Thomas, Isaiah Turner and Gavin Ward.
Gary Megson and Brian Little have managed both clubs;
Denis Smith and Brian Talbot both played for Stoke and managed
Albion, Talbot also playing for the Baggies; Richie Barker managed
Stoke and later became Chief Scout at The Hawthorns; Former Albion
midfielder Asa Hartford had a spell as Stoke's assistant manager;
Bill Asprey, who played for and managed Stoke, was a coach at The
Hawthorns during Don Howe's reign as Albion manager.
ALL-TIME LEAGUE & CUP RECORD VS STOKE CITY
TEN MATCHES AGAINST STOKE CITY
Sat 01 Dec 2012
Sat 21 Jan 2012
Morrison, Dorrans - Jerome
Sun 28 Aug 2011
Mon 28 Feb 2011
Vela - Delap
Sat 20 Nov 2010
Etherington (pen), Walters 2 (1 pen)
Sat 04 Apr 2009
Sat 22 Nov 2008
Sat 22 Dec 2007
Bednar - Fuller 3
Wed 03 Oct 2007
Barnett - Shawcross
Sat 07 Apr 2007
Koumas - Fuller, Greening (og), Parkin