I never got to Stoke during the days we shared Division Two, so this will be my first visit there (Port Vale visits aside). In fact I don't think I've ever met a Stoke fan in my life.
Stoke don't seem to have started the season very well, but on paper their side looks decent with loads of ability on show. I saw last weekend they managed to go 2 up against Leicester who aren't a bad side, before succumbing to a draw. I understand their defence is making errors whereas their attack is doing well. So could be another 'both teams to score' bet worth doing, something that's usually worth a punt with us lot, as our defence doesn't often keep clean sheets either. Sunderland last weekend were bloody poor yet still had a goal disallowed and missed chances.
Managing to get Charlie Daniels back last week, even though not fully fit yet, gives us our side so much more balance. Distin made his league debut at the back last week and did fine so I'd hope he keeps his place. Central midfield is still a slight concern but Dan Gosling and Drew Surman haven't done too bad whenever they're partnered together, although if Stoke put some mucsle in their midfield those two might be a bit weak.
Stoke have drawn a few and if we could get something here to build on last week's win that'd be ideal, with a tougher run including Man City coming up.
Stoke give wilson a kicking and he's off on a stretcher. Whatever the score is today, that's more important to our season. Already got two players out for months after a stretcher job. If wilson is out similar then we're fucked.
That whole game was a big kick in the balls. We started poorly but the injury to Wilson clearly impacted us, our final ball was dreadful and Stoke deservedly led at half time.
We actually played well second half, Stoke sat really deep and almost invited the pressure onto them, our goal was scrappy but well deserved. However our ineptitude at defending crosses into the box that has existed since League 1 caught us again.
I felt we deserved something from the game and was surprised at how poor and nervous Stoke were, but if this Wilson injury is as bad as it looked then we're in big trouble.
Serious knee injury for Wilson by the looks, will await a scan of course but it's not good. We'll be talking months not weeks. Again.
Thay aside, I felt Stoke were really there for the taking today for periods. Really quiet and nervous home crowd (even at 1-0 up) and a manager doing his nut in on the touchline for everything, which made the Stoke players careless and nervous as well.
We just weren't good enough to exploit all that, the cutting edge wasn't quite there despite having so much of the ball second half.
No idea why Glenn Murray was penalised for the Stoke winner, all adding up to a rather frustrating game by our friend Lee Mason with whom we have history.
Impressed with Distin amd Gosling, they're the positives from today. But things are a bit downbeat, hard to see positives at the moment when you keep losing bloody good players with months long serious injuries.