TONY PULIS will assess his players over the next 24 hours before deciding his starting eleven for Sunday’s live televised clash against Arsenal at the Britannia Stadium.
The City boss is hoping to have a relatively full squad at his disposal for the opening home game of the season, with Dean Whitehead the Potters’ only certain absentee as he serves a one-match ban following his dismissal at Reading last weekend.
American international Geoff Cameron was expected to link up with his City team-mates at Clayton Wood on Friday morning, after he was finally cleared to enter the United Kingdom late on Thursday.
Pulis did however, raise concerns as to whether the 27-year old would be fit enough to feature against the Gunners, having spent the past eleven days away from the Club.
“We will see how Geoff is when he gets here,” he said. “We’ve been without him for a while now, which has been disappointing, so we will have to check him over when he arrives.”
Should the former Houston Dynamo star be declared fit to feature, then he could fill Whitehead’s void in the centre of midfield; however, he will have to overcome competition from the likes of Wilson Palacios and Rory Delap for that starting berth.
Meanwhile, Jermaine Pennant could return to the matchday squad, after he was forced to sit out the side’s opening day trip to the Madejski Stadium with a thigh injury.
Tomas Rosicky (calf), Bacary Sagna (broken leg), Jack Wilshere (ankle) and Emmanuel Frimpong (knee) are all long term absentees for the visitors, whilst defender Laurent Koscielny will miss the clash having failed to make a full recovery from a calf strain.
Arsene Wenger has been boosted by the return of England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain though, after the French boss confirmed that the youngster was back in training, and likely to travel to the Britannia Stadium.