TONY PULIS was forced into one change for Saturday's clash against Manchester United . . . as Irish international midfielder Glenn Whelan failed to shrug off a hamstring injury in time to feature.
The Potters ace undertook a late fitness test after limping out of the goalless draw with Liverpool two weeks ago, however, he failed to prove himself fit meaning Dean Whitehead deputised in midfield.
The former Sunderland man, who scored at Old Trafford two seasons ago for Stoke, lined up in an otherwise unchanged side as the Potters looked for their first point in Manchester since winning promotion back to the top-flight.
Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic ushered a back four which consisted of Geoff Cameron, Robert Huth, skipper Ryan Shawcross and midweek Republic of Ireland goalscoring hero Marc Wilson.
Cameron's inclusion in the right back spot meant that Andy Wilkinson, who was eligible to feature having served a three game ban, had to settle for a spot amongst the substitutes.
The central midfield trio included Whitehead, Steven Nzonzi and Charlie Adam, whilst Michael Kightly and Jonathan Walters occupied to the spots on the flanks.
Leading goalscorer Peter Crouch, who co-incidentally bagged his first City goal against the Reds during the 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium last season, led the line in a lone role up front.
Michael Owen, who scored 17 goals in just over 50 appearances for United, was named on the bench after missing a return to Anfield last time out with a niggling injury.
Stoke City (4-5-1): Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross (c), Huth, Wilson; Walters, Nzonzi, Whitehead, Adam, Kightly; Crouch. Subs: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Upson, Palacios, Etherington, Jones, Owen.