Stoke V Swansea at Britannia Stadium : Match Preview

29 September 2012 03:42
Stoke V Swansea - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis has a fully-fit squad to select from for Barclays Premier League clash with Swansea at the Britannia Stadium.

Midfielder Charlie Adam came off during the 1-0 defeat at Chelsea last weekend due to illness, but has recovered in time for the visit of the Swans. One Potters player who will not feature is defender Andy Wilkinson, who serves the second match of a three-game suspension. Pulis' team - with four draws and a defeat from their five Barclays Premier League games so far this term - welcome a Swansea side adjusting to life under new manager Michael Laudrup.

The Dane replaced Brendan Rodgers over the summer and the Swans made a bright start to the campaign, taking seven points from their first three league matches before suffering back-to-back losses against Aston Villa and Everton. Laudrup has a tough act to follow in succeeding Rodgers, who had guided the Welsh team into the Premier League in 2011 and then an 11th-placed finish, but early signs have been encouraging, with new signing Michu particularly standing out after scoring five goals in all competitions.

The midfielder, recruited from the Spanish top flight where Laudrup had previously been working, is among a clutch of players the new boss has brought in from around the continent and Pulis feels his counterpart has made some shrewd moves.

"He has had to change it around because there are a few players who have gone," Pulis said.

"But the players he has brought in.people talk about Michu, who has done exceptionally well and scored goals, but the other players he has signed - he has a good knowledge of the European leagues and he has brought some good players in. "It will be a tough game."

Swansea are boosted by the return of Chico Flores and Nathan Dyer from suspension. Defender Flores has missed three games since his red card against Sunderland, while winger Dyer sat out the Capital One Cup win over Crawley after his dismissal against Everton. Manager Michael Laudrup expects Jonathan de Guzman and Ashley Williams (both ankle) and Pablo Hernandez (knee) to shake off injuries to feature. Goalkeeper Michel Vorm has had the rugby tackle bags out this week as he prepares for the physical challenge posed by Stoke's direct approach.

The 28-year-old Holland international, who signed a new four-year contract with the Swans on Thursday, knows he can expect a testing afternoon at the Britannia Stadium as he prepares to make his first appearance at the home of the Potters. Vorm missed last season's 2-0 defeat, a game where Swansea were bullied out of their passing rhythm, but is fully aware of the challenge that lies ahead and has prepared accordingly. "I don't mind that side of the game," he said.

"There were some games last season when I had some bruises on my face after the game. "Things happen and I don't mind. I like to go in there and show what you can do. I am not afraid of anybody. "We have practised with tackle bags. Last season we did it sometimes and it is good preparation for matches like this.

 "It is not only for the games against Stoke because other teams have some physical players especially from set-pieces. You have to make sure you are strong and make sure you come and fight those guys."

Swansea share their Liberty Stadium home with the Ospreys regional rugby side, but Vorm was happy to stop short of having the likes of Alun Wyn Jones and Ryan Jones help him prepare for an aerial bombardment.

He said: "We have the tackle bags at our training ground, we don't train with the Ospreys, which is good because they are even bigger than the big footballers."

Source: PA