Pulis could be set for an unhappy return to the Britannia
After seeing his side struggle to see off League 1 Port Vale in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday, West Brom manager Tony Pulis admitted that his squad is still a work in progress.
Speculation over the future of last season’s top scorer Saido Berahino can’t be helping new players to get used to playing the Pulis way and they’ve managed just one point from their opening three Premier League matches, though admittedly two of those games were against title favourites Manchester City and champions Chelsea.
James Chester, James McClean, Rickie Lambert and loanee Serge Gnabry all arrived at The Hawthorns over the summer and Zenit St Petersburg were paid £12million for Venezuela striker Salomon Rondon – a record fee for the Baggies.
City are also winless so far but have drawn at Tottenham and Norwich and were unlucky to lose their opener against Liverpool.
They were taken to extra time and penalties by League 2 Luton on Tuesday but Mark Hughes has declared himself pleased with his side’s start and they do seem to have rediscovered that ‘hard to beat’ attitude which has served them well in the past.
Tony Pulis, of course, was the man who got City back into the Premier League and kept them there against the odds. He’s sure of a warm welcome from City fans, many of whom didn’t want him to leave in 2013, but they’ll all be wanting him to depart the Britannia on this occasion empty-handed.
Swiss star Xherdan Shaqiri showed enough at Norwich last week to suggest he’ll be a hit among City fans and Mame Biram Diouf has already scored twice this season. There is a lot more strength-in-depth at Stoke this season and they could surprise a few by challenging for a place in the top six.
The Potters should have too much for a West Brom side that has its early-season problems but can still be backed at 10/11Add to betslip in our Full Time Result betting. City to win on the handicap giving away a goal start is 51/20Add to betslip.
The match kicks off at 3.00pm on Saturday, August 29th at the Britannia Stadium
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.