Date: 2nd January 2016 at 8:15am
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Stoke City make the 40-mile trip south to face West Bromwich Albion knowing that victory could move them into a European spot.

Though currently 10th in the congested league table, the Potters are just two points off fifth-placed Crystal Palace and have lost just three times in their last 10 outings.

Mark Hughes’ men enjoyed a productive festive period – picking up maximum points from their encounters with a 2-0 win over Manchester United and a thrilling 4-3 victory at Everton, meaning they have only been defeated twice away from the Britannia this term.

In comparison, West Brom, who are managed by former Stoke boss Tony Pulis, sit 13th in the league table heading into the New Year, six points behind this weekend’s opponents.

The Baggies recovered from their Boxing Day defeat at Swansea City to secure their first win in six games by beating Newcastle United 1-0 in front of their own fans.

That was just their third home win of the season and first clean sheet since October 24, but their tally of 22 shots against the Magpies was the most they had managed in a single game this season.

Team News:

James McClean and Salomon Rondon will serve the last of their three-match bans, after both were sent-off against Bournemouth last month.

Victor Anichebe and Jonas Olsson are both doubtful for the clash but Saido Berahino could be handed a start by Pulis after impressing as a half-time substitute last time out.

Marko Arnautovic scored in both of Stoke’s outings over Christmas and is expected to be fit despite but having a tight hamstring.

League Position: West Bromwich Albion – 13th (21 pts); Stoke City – 10th (29 pts)
Last Meeting: Stoke City 0-1 West Bromwich Albion – August 29, 2015
Key Players: West Bromwich Albion – Darren Fletcher; Stoke City – Marko Arnautovic
League Form: West Bromwich Albion – DDDLLW; Stoke City – LWDLWW
Shoot Says: West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Stoke City

 
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