Date: 26th September 2015 at 8:00am
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Mark Hughes and Stoke City achieved their highest ever points tally in the Premier League last year but have had a difficult campaign so far this time around.

It has been the Potters’ worst start to a season in the Premier League and if they fail to pick up three points in this one, it will be the first time since 1973 they have failed to win any of their first seven games.

There will be no pressure on Mark Hughes just yet, but he knows that games such as this one really need to be yielding three points. What will be encouraging is that it took Stoke until the end of September last year to achieve their first win, so things can still quickly change.


Mame Biram Diouf is doubtful with a hamstring injury meaning Jon Walters or Peter Crouch (who scored the winner against Fulham in the Capital One Cup in midweek) will get the nod up front.

Ryan Shawcross remains out and is not due back until December. Ibrahim Afellay and Charlie Adam will return from suspension and are both likely to start.

Bournemouth will be pleased with how they have started, especially after losing their first two games. Seven points at this stage of the season is about par but manager Eddie Howe will know his defence will have to improve after conceding the joint most in the division (nine).

What the Cherries do possess is a striker that can torment any backline. Callum Wilson has made the step up to the Premier League look easy and pounces on every opportunity as his five goals in only eight shots testifies.

He will look to replicate his hat-trick in the 4-3 win over West Ham last month and this remains the only points Eddie Howe’s men have picked up away from home.

Shaun MacDonald and Tommy Elphick are doubtful for the visitors, while Max Gradel and Harry Arter are not due back until next month.

League Position: Stoke – 18th, 3pts; Bournemouth – 14th, 7pts
Last Meeting: Stoke 3-0 Bournemouth, January 2003
Form: Stoke – LDDLLD; Bournemouth – LLWDLW
Key Men:
 Stoke – Charlie Adam; Bournemouth – Callum Wilson

17th August 2015 - Barclays Premier League - Liverpool v Bournemouth - Callum Wilson of Bournemouth - Photo: Simon Stacpoole / Offside.

Shoots Says: Stoke 1-0 Bournemouth

 
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