Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Saturday November 8 2008
The Latics entertain Stoke City today at the JJB for the first meeting between the clubs since the 2004/05 season when on the 5th February Stoke won 0-1 at the JJB with a Gifton Noel-Williams goal on 39 minutes proving decisive.
Todays encounter is seen by the Latics has a must win game though Stoke boss Tony Pulis will undoubtedly have identified the game as one where he feels that his side can get something from, both sides need the points as the league table start to take shape
Arsene Wenger has been ultra-critical of Stokes physical approach this week, Pulis has responded by saying that his players form an honest team with a good work ethic, Steve Bruce has identified that the Latics will need to have a good work ethic themselves if they are to get anything from the game.
With just one hour travelling up the M6 between the two clubs there is expected to be a large away following for todays game which should help to create a good atmosphere at the JJB lets hope that this in turn inspires the players to produce a good game on the pitch
Latics boss Steve Bruce:
'The one thing you do when you're preparing a team is to always look at the dead-ball situations.
'They've got this weapon which is better than a free-kick because you can't be offside from a throw-in.
'Rory throws it with regularity and the trajectory, if that's the word, and they've done well from it. But we have to go and defend it and defend it properly.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis:
'I've watched tapes of their games and I'm sure Steve Bruce will think they have played better than what their points return shows.
'They are a good team with a lot of pace and power and we are looking forward to what is certainly going to be a difficult game.
'We probably haven't had the little bit of luck we need on the road.'
No injury worries for Steve Bruce just Erik Edman off the pace following his recovery from ligament damage
Kirkland, Pollitt, Melchiot, Taylor, Bramble, Scharner, Boyce, Figueroa, Kilbane, Valencia, De Ridder, Cattermole, Brown, Palacios, Koumas, Heskey, Zaki, Camara.
The Egyptian striker is bang on form and always looks likely to score every time he gets the ball
Liam Lawrence and Andrew Davies both out with long-term injuries
Sorensen, Griffin, Shawcross, Abdoulaye Faye, Higginbotham, Amdy Faye, Diao, Olofinjana, Delap, Sidibe, Fuller, Simonsen, Whelan, Soares, Cresswell, Kitson, Wilkinson, Sonko, Tonge, Cort, Pericard.
People say that Stoke are a one trick pony and that trick is Rory Delap, well we are about to find out
Latics and Stoke have met 18 times in the league with Stoke having slightly the better of those meetings:
Latics 5 wins, Stoke 8, draws 5
Mike Riley (Leeds)
Games - 8
Yellows - 35
Reds - 2
Heart says 4-0 Latics win
Head says 2-0 Latics win
Arsenal Vs Latics
Newcastle United Vs Latics
St. James' Park
Date:Saturday November 8 2008
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