Preview: Wolves v Stoke

08 April 2010 02:11
Wolverhampton Wanderers will be looking to push themselves further away from the Premier League relegation battle on Sunday with a home victory over Stoke City. Stoke have won their last two Premier League matches against two other relegation threatened sides in the form of West Ham United and Hull City, keeping a clean sheet in both, and they will undoubtedly be hoping for more of the same against a side struggling to find the net at home of late. Mick McCarthy's outfit have won, and scored, just once in their last seven games at home and have failed to find the net in any of their last three games at Molieux, albeit against Chelsea, Manchester United and Everton. The two sides shared the points in an entertaining 2-2 draw earlier this season in the Premier League, with defender Jody Craddock getting both of the goals for Wolves to cancel out a 2-0 half-time lead for Stoke following strikes from Matthew Etherington and an own goal from George Elokobi. This match extended the statistic that only one of the last eight league meetings between these two sides has ended as a home win. Wolves look like missing just one player due to injury, Michael Kightly, although skipper Karl Henry is ruled out as he starts a three-match ban for his sending-off at Arsenal last weekend. City could welcome back striker James Beattie into the squad following a 90-minute shift for the reserves in midweek. The former Sheffield United striker came through the game without a problem and said following the run out: "It was good to play the full game and the knee feels fine. Hopefully I can force my way back into the first-team in these last six games." Beattie also used the opportunity to state: "I'm a Stoke player and as long as that is the case I'll continue to do my best for the club," in an attempt to quell rumours of a rift between himself and manager Tony Pulis.

Source: ESA