MARK HUGHES says he will give Xherdan Shaqiri and Geoff Cameron until the very last minute to prove their fitness before he finalises his plans for the forthcoming Barclays Premier League showdown with leaders Arsenal.
Neither player has featured in either of the Potters’ last two fixtures - last weekend’s FA Cup triumph against Doncaster Rovers and Wednesday evening’s 3-1 victory in the league over in-form Norwich City.
Speaking to Stoke City Player
in the build-up to Sunday’s live televised fixture, the Welshman refused to entirely rule the pair out, but admitted that it was highly unlikely that either of the pair would be available for selection.
“We will have to wait and see with them both - we will obviously give them as long as we can,” he said.
“I wouldn’t have thought Shaq would be ready as he probably needs another 10 days or so, and Geoff has a problem with his ankle which needs to settle down.
“He will likely be feeling a bit of pain for a number of weeks but we have to wait until the pain is manageable for him.”
He added: “Once he is able to manage it then he will be available for selection.”
The Welshman is likely to name an unchanged side should the pair both miss out, although he said he could be inclined to make one or two tactical changes.
“We have changed the team around a little bit over the past couple of games - some were forced changes and others were done because of the opposition we were facing on the day.
“Arsenal is a different game entirely and we will have a game plan for that, and whether that means changing the personnel a little bit then you will have to wait and see.”