Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has given us a huge injury boost ahead of our trip to the Britannia Stadium this weekend, with the news that Xherdan Shaqiri and Mark Arnautovic will miss the game through injury, as reported by Stoke’s official website.
The Potters pair have been two of their most deadly players this season, scoring plenty of goals and setting up a fair few too. Stoke have been performing above expectations this campaign, and they’ve always been a tough team to beat.
Hughes may have them playing a different type of football this season, but they’re still just as dangerous. A trip to the Britannia has always been a problem for us, and last season we suffered an extremely humiliating defeat at their hands.
Being without two of their best players makes them a much less scary prospect though, and Hughes admitted it was a huge blow to be without Shaqiri, and potentially Arnautovic.
“He [Shaqiri] may miss out on Sunday’s game,” Hughes said.
“The likelihood is he will probably need at least 10 days possibly more and that’s a real shame. It’s a shame because he’s just started to acclimatise to the Premier League and we could have used his guile last night.”
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“He could have helped break a resolute Norwich side down but thankfully we didn’t need him in the end and it was a good three points. As far as I’m aware everybody else is ok, Marko Arnautovic has been feeling a little bit stiff in his hamstring. We took him off toward the end of yesterday’s game to try and protect him a little bit.”
We haven’t necessarily been playing our best football recently, but we’ve still been grinding out results. We are still top of the table, and that is thanks to gritty performances like the one we put in against Newcastle United.
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Hopefully we won’t need a performance like that to get the win, but all that’s really important is the three points. Leicester are a little too close for comfort, and we really need to start taking them seriously.