Stoke City FC now face a troubled Chelsea side following their recent stalemate in Tyneside last week. However, the Potters also have their fair share of concerns as well.
No precision in front of goal
As of the last match, Stoke have become the lowest scoring team in the Premier League, producing only nine goals from 10 games. This presents a troublesome problem for Mark Hughes's side, who currently sit in 14th place of the table closely behind Everton FC and Swansea City.
With the Potters' starting 11 featuring the likes of Marco Arnautovic, Mato Joselu and Mame Diouf, the side obviously have the quality needed to produce goals with many players representing their country internationally. However, the lack of goal scoring capability in the Premier League, will have to be addressed if Hughes wants his side to progress further than their ninth place finish last season.
More comfortable away
Stoke City also need to drastically improve their home performance, having only won once at the Britannia Stadium and having only taken four points from 15 so far at home this season. In contrast, their performances on the road are vastly better, with Stoke securing three draws and two wins which currently sees them safely in the bottom half of the table.
Additionally for their next home matches, Stoke will also have to see off the likes of Crystal Palace and both Manchester clubs who are fighting for pole position in the table. With these considerable home challenges fast approaching, Hughes will have to adapt and change his squad’s poor performance at the Britannia and restore faith in the home supporters.
Shawcross’ welcome return to the top flight
Ryan Shawcross has made a heroic return back to first team football following his recent back operation in the summer. His impressive recovery rewarded by playing the full game against Newcastle United at St James Park and his 120 minute participation in Stokes recent home victory over Chelsea in the Capital One Cup.
This must be a massive relief for Stoke City fans, who so far this season, have seen their team troubled and shaken at the back.