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Saturday 18 August 2018

Pulis: Shuffled Potters won't crack in Cardiff

Stoke boss Tony Pulis firmly believes a shake up of his team for tonight's FA Cup clash at Cardiff will not have a detrimental impact.

Pulis remains convinced whatever players he opts to field "can go there and finish the job off" after being held to a 1-1 draw in the initial tie at the Britannia Stadium 10 days ago.

On that occasion Pulis made seven changes from his side's Premier League encounter at Manchester United a few days earlier.

The most significant saw Thomas Sorensen recalled in goal ahead of Asmir Begovic while defender Ryan Shotton made his first appearance of the season.

Pulis is planning to use the full extent of his squad again for the third-round replay, with Shotton a confirmed starter.

"I never ever put a team out with red and white stripes on that I think will lose the game," said Pulis.



MINDSET

"Everything I do and every change I make is done so with the mindset that it will help us win the match.

"It is an important competition for us, but we will make changes.

"We have played a hell of a lot of games recently, so I will freshen things up a little bit. The likes of Shotts, who did ever so well in the first game, will come back in. We have a good squad of players here, players who are desperate to come in and show what they can do.

"A lot of them who aren't in the team at the moment actually played a part in winning us promotion from the Championship, so going to Cardiff shouldn't be too much for them."

Pulis has Ricardo Fuller available again after the striker missed Saturday's 2-0 home win over Bolton due to a family bereavement.

Eidur Gudjohnsen remains doubtful with a neck injury, while another forward in Mamady Sidibe continues to recover from an Achilles problem.

As for the Bluebirds, again pushing for promotion from the Championship, manager Dave Jones is likely to field a side similar to the one that pushed Stoke close in the Potteries.



NIGGLY

Pulis could find two former Potters strikers in Jon Parkin and Jay Bothroyd -- the latter was only on loan for four games -- lining up against him after they missed the first game with niggly injuries.

Of a small squad, only Craig Bellamy is likely to be missing so as not to aggravate his troublesome knee problems.

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