PREM: Stoke v Middlesbrough preview


Stoke v Middlesbrough preview

Xherdan Shaqiri is a doubt for Stoke's home clash with Middlesbrough on Saturday, but Saido Berahino could be in line for his first start.


Switzerland international Shaqiri only returned to training on Friday after missing the last four games due to a calf problem.

While Shaqiri is unlikely to be involved, January signing Berahino could make the starting XI as Stoke look to respond from their 4-0 defeat at Tottenham last weekend, which manager Mark Hughes labelled as "unacceptable".

"We let ourselves down last week," said Hughes on Friday. "When we do disappoint we tend to bounce back quickly. We have to do that again."
 
Boro have not won in the Premier League since December 17 and are only out of the relegation zone on goal difference.

They have also struggled for goals lately, failing to score in their last three league matches.

"With the performances we have had in the games we have played, we could have 32 points on the table," said Boro boss Aitor Karanka. "But the reality is that we have 22."
 
Jonathan Walters is now fit to return to the Stoke squad, as is Glen Johnson.

It remains to be seen whether Wilfried Bony is involved after he failed to make the 18-man squad at Spurs despite being available.
 
Karanka hopes to be able to call upon defenders Antonio Barragan and George Friend.

Barragan has missed the last four games with a hamstring problem, while Friend has sat out the last five because of calf and knee injuries, but both have returned to training and could come into contention.

However, Arsenal loanee Calum Chambers, who missed last weekend's 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace with a foot problem, is likely to remain on the sidelines as Boro look for a first league win since December 17.


This is a converted blog, not a website, no video streaming or broadcasting is done from this server or location
copyright White Rat Tv 2007 - 2016
Attention: Third parties may advertise their products and/or services on our website,we does not warrant the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of their contents.
Your dealings with such third parties are solely between you and such third parties and we shall not be liable
in any way for any loss or damage of any sort incurred by you.