Football Season Guide

Stoke City


Jamie Ness (mid), Rangers, Geoff Cameron (def), Houston Dynamo), Michael Kightly (mid), Wolverhampton), Goran Popov (def), Dynamo Kyiv - loan)


Andrew Davies (def), Bradford), Ricardo Fuller (att), Salif Diao (mid), Jonathan Woodgate (def), Middlesbrough), Tom Soares (mid), Danny Collins (def), Nottingham Forest)

Stoke City prepare for their fifth consecutive Premiership season hoping to this manage to make the quantum leap from being a safe mid-table side to one challenging for the top six. This is the projection of managers Tony Pulis who wants his men not just to settle for being safe but leave more of a mark in the league. The previous two seasons were dominated by Cup competitions but this time the Potters do not play in Europe and could really focus all their effort and commitment to getting as many points as possible. There will be no change in style as Stoke will once again rely on brute force, hard work and commitment until the last drop of sweat in order to make up for the deficiency in talent. Pulis has not really upgraded the squad significantly since last season and instead focused on players who could develop in the future. There will be major changes in the regular starting 11 with the possible exception of Dynamo Kyiv left-back Goran Popov pushing Marc Wilson having joined on loan a week before the season. Whether Stoke can actually become more of a significant factor in the league is very much debatable but if they get some momentum and focus all their attention on the league, they are a formidable force for any opponent. Still, anything other than a place above top eight will be a major surprise in the coming season.


The target is securing a place in the top ten and challenging for Europe but it is difficult to see it happening with the current squad