MARK HUGHES handed competitive debuts to three of his summer signings for Saturday’s 2014/15 curtain-raiser against Aston Villa at the Britannia Stadium.
Bojan, Mame Diouf and Phil Bardsley were all included in the starting eleven as the City boss named an incredibly attack-minded side as he looked to lead the Potters to an opening day victory.
As expected Asmir Begovic retained the number one spot in goal following his exploits last season, and he ushered a back four that comprised of Bardsley, skipper Ryan Shawcross, Marc Wilson and Erik Pieters.
Republic of Ireland international Glenn Whelan and Steven Nzonzi occupied the two holding midfield spots with Stephen Ireland deployed in a more advanced position.
Marko Arnautovic started on the left hand side of a front three whilst former Barcelona star Bojan was named on the right.
Mame Diouf, who opened his account against SC Freiburg in Germany last weekend, was given the nod to make his Potters bow up front.
Stoke City: Begovic; Bardsley, Shawcross (c), Wilson, Pieters; Whelan, Ireland, Nzonzi; Bojan, Arnautovic; Diouf. Subs: Sorensen, Huth, Muniesa, Sidwell, Adam, Walters, Crouch.
Aston Villa: Guzan; Hutton, Vlaar (c), Senderos, Cissokho; Westwood, Delph; N’Zogbia, Weimann, Richardson; Agbonlahor. Subs: Given, Baker, Clark, Bacuna, El Ahmadi, Bent, Grealish.