MARK HUGHES was handed a major pre-match boost after both Marko Arnautovic and Peter Odemwingie passed late fitness tests to take their places up in the starting line-up.
Arnautovic, who returned from international duty this week with a tight hamstring, resumed his duties on the left hand side of midfield, whilst Odemwingie returned to the eleven at the expense of the suspended Charlie Adam.
The Nigerian international occupied the left wing role, with Jonathan Walters lining up just behind lone striker Peter Crouch.
Steven Nzonzi and Republic of Ireland international Glenn Whelan resumed their central midfield partnership in front of a back four that comprised of Geoff Cameron, Ryan Shawcross, Marc Wilson and Erik Pieters.
As expected, Asmir Begovic continued in goal.
The substitutes bench included Stephen Ireland, Matthew Etherington and Manchester City loanee John Guidetti.
Stoke City: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross (C), Wilson, Pieters; Odemwingie, Whelan, Nzonzi, Arnautovic; Walters; Crouch. Subs: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Muniesa, Palacios, Etherington, Ireland, Guidetti.