Stoke have pulled themselves out of their own run of poor results with arguably their hardest fixtures of the season to date. Whilst their draw at Tottenham was a little fortuitous, the home win against Liverpool had the confidence of a side thoroughly at home in the top flight. All this with Champions League winner Eidur Gudjohnsen sitting on the bench.
West Brom are now four games without a win- and will be anxious to get back to winning ways here. Disappointingly for Roberto Di Matteo, points dropped against sides expected to struggle have taken the polish over away performances against Arsenal and Manchester United. Goals have certainly not been in short supply, but a lack of clean sheets have beset the Baggie’s attempts to push on from their strong autumn.
This is the sort of fixture that West Brom will have earmarked as crucial for Premier League survival. That Di Matteo would probably accept a point here shows the strong start the Baggies have made to their season. Stoke, happily heading in the right direction are happy to stockpile points ahead of the Christmas period.