MARK HUGHES has dropped his strongest hint yet that he will hand competitive debuts to several of his summer acquisitions against Aston Villa on Saturday.
The Potters play host to the Villans at the Britannia Stadium in the 2014/15 Premier league curtain-raiser with as many as five new signings in contention to make their league bows for the Club.
Bojan, Mame Diouf and Phil Bardsley appear the three favourites to feature in the starting eleven, but both Steve Sidwell and Dionatan Teixeira will also be harbouring hopes of starting too.
Speaking exclusively to Stoke City Player on Friday morning, Hughes said: “I have the eleven in my head now – I am pretty clear with which way I am going to go.
“I’m sure there will be a few of the new signings in there too, but it’s important for the guys who aren’t in the side tomorrow to understand that there will be opportunities for them throughout the season.
“It will be a long hard season for us all and I am certain that we will need every player to do a job for us at some stage.”
The Welshman confirmed he has no real injury worries ahead of the big kick-off, citing the ‘superb work’ of the medical team as key to the plethora of options he has available to him.
“We are in good nick at the moment by virtue of having a really good pre-season,” the City boss added.
“I don’t like talking about injuries too much but we are in good shape, and touch wood that remains to be the case.
“The medical staff here are excellent and we have really looked after the squad in terms of managing anybody who was at risk, and as a consequence of that I have a full complement to pick from”
Remember the only place to hear the official team news on Saturday afternoon is right here on stokecityfc.com.
We will bring you the full starting eleven at 2pm, whilst we will also be announcing the team via our social network channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.