Everton to inflict away day blues on Potters

Stoke fans received a late Christmas present this week, as Jermaine Pennant put pen to paper on a permanent deal from Spanish outfit Real Zaragoza. Pennant has been key to Stoke’s resurgence after a sluggish start to the season, and Tony Pulis has challenged him to maintain the standards that have won him a contract until 2013.

Everton seemed more concerned with avoiding defeat than pushing on to beat West Ham at Upton Park on Tuesday, and this attitude will not have pleased Toffee fans. Whilst the league has certainly tightened this year, the lack of ambition shown after such an impressive result against Manchester City last week is strange.

At exactly the halfway stage for both clubs, neither David Moyes or Tony Pulis are any nearer to knowing exactly how this season will unfold. Moyes appears content to allow striker James Vaughan to leave the club during the transfer window, however with Landon Donovan ruling out a return to Goodison Park, it would appear that greater attacking resources are required to turn a side best known for their draws, into a Premier League force through the coming months.

Prediction: 1-2

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