When Stoke brought in the likes of Ibrahim Afellay and Xherdan Shaqiri over the summer, few expected them to sit in the bottom three after five games. An indifferent start, however, means that is where they find themselves as they welcome a Leicester side sitting pretty in second place.
Throughout their spell in the Premier League, Stoke have prided themselves on making the Britannia Stadium a fortress; this season they have slipped to 1-0 defeats at home to Liverpool and West Brom and Mark Hughes’ side will be eager to claim their first points on home soil.
Glen Johnson is a doubt for the hosts with a knee injury, whilst Jon Walters is also touch-and-go for the match, which falls on the Irishman’s 32nd birthday. A goal for Mame Diouf on Saturday will take the Senegalese striker to 100 career league goals.
Claudio Ranieri has settled in seamlessly to life back in the Premier League, and has continued Leicester’s forward momentum after their great escape last season.
Last weekend’s comeback from 2-0 down to defeat Aston Villa was arguably their best win of the campaign so far, and Ranieri is unlikely to change a winning formula in Staffordshire this weekend. The Foxes have no fresh injury concerns, with Matty James a long-term absentee with a knee injury.
Jamie Vardy, Jeffrey Schlupp and Marc Albrighton were named as the three fastest players in the division last weekend – a stat that led Ranieri to compare his team to RAF fighter jets. The Italian has also promised pizza for the whole squad if they keep a clean sheet on Saturday; for all of their exciting wins, the Foxes have not yet prevented the other team scoring.
League Position: Stoke – 18th, 2pts; Leicester – 2nd, 11pts
Last Meeting: Leicester 0-1 Stoke (January 17, 2015)
Form: Stoke – LDDLL; Leicester – WWDDW
Key Men: Stoke – Mame Diouf; Leicester – Riyad Mahrez
Shoot Says: Stoke 2-2 Leicester