Potters forced to make changes
[.[views].], BY ClubCall
Stoke will be without the banned Ryan Shawcross for Saturday's FA Cup third-round tie against York at the Britannia Stadium.
The centre-back is not the only defender likely to miss the clash with the Minstermen as full-back Andy Wilkinson is also struggling with a minor muscle problem.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis is considering changes up front too after a run of six games without a win during which time his side have scored just twice.
Dave Kitson could come into contention after being recalled from a loan spell at Middlesbrough and he is ready to challenge for a place along with the likes of James Beattie, Tuncay Sanli, Mamady Sidibe and Ricardo Fuller.
Pulis said: "People say this is the best bunch of strikers we have had at the club for a long time. But that isn't the case because they are not scoring goals.
"We have played better this season than at any time last term but we are not getting the breaks.
"Decisions are not going our way but this happens. We have to have broad shoulders and fight through it.
"We lost to Birmingham here on Monday and still got clapped off by the fans. We are doing the right things.
"But the forwards are not scoring. We need them to score with a shot that hits their backsides, then they will be up and running. Things will get better."
But Pulis will make sure his players are not over-confident against York, who were relegated from the Football League in 2004.
He added: "It is disrespectful to York, and with an ex-Vale man (Martin Foyle) as manager, to say this game has come at the right time for us.
"You cannot just turn up, play and win. It is not like that. All our four strikers need a lift but we won't be taking York lightly.
"They are solid, flying high in their league and they are bringing 5,000 here. I've been in this game too long to think you can stroll it."