Goalkeeper dilemma for Pulis

Stoke City boss Tony Pulis insists he is yet to decide who he will have in goal for Saturday’s ‘six-pointer’ at home to Newcastle.

Asmir Begovic has been Pulis’ regular between the sticks for Premiership fixtures this season, but Thomas Sorensen, who has played in all of Stoke’s FA Cup matches this campaign, is eager to retain his place.

Pulis said: “They are both top quality goalkeepers and it’s a nice problem for me to have. Asmir didn’t have a great day when we lost at West Ham two weeks ago, but he was brilliant in the previous game against West Brom and you are going to get that with young players.”

“Thomas has seen it all and done it all and he’s been terrific in the FA Cup matches. He’s helped us to get to Wembley and he’s a top professional who still wants to play as many games as he can.”

Stoke should be at full strength with striker John Carew making good progress from the back strain which forced him to miss Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final victory over West Ham.

A semi-final date against Bolton beckons, but Pulis insisted: “It’s a great occasion to look forward to, but we have already put it on the back burner because staying in the Premiership is by far our biggest aim.”

“I’ve always said if we can stay in the Premiership for three years that would give us a great base to push on. That remains the case and the game against Newcastle is massive for both clubs.”

Stoke won 2-1 at St James’ Park last September, but Pulis warned: “Newcastle have had some great results, like winning at Arsenal, and their away record is very good.”

“My players know we will need a top performance to win the game and I’m sure our supporters will roar us on.”

“They will probably be even louder than usual as they look forward to Wembley and that can only help us.”

 


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