MARK HUGHES made two changes to his starting line-up for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League encounter against Fulham at the Britannia Stadium.
Moroccan international Oussama Assaidi returned to the side for the first time since early February, replacing Peter Crouch, who dropped down to the bench.
The exclusion of the England international meant a first start up front for Peter Odemwingie, with Assaidi occupying the position on the right which has regularly been filled by the Nigerian.
Meanwhile, Marc Muniesa was handed a start in central defence – filling the void left by the suspended Ryan Shawcross.
The rest of the side remained unchanged from the one that succumbed to a narrow defeat against Tottenham Hotspur last time out.
Bosnian stopper Asmir Begovic resumed his duties in goal – ushering a back four that comprised of Geoff Cameron, Muniesa, Marc Wilson and Erik Pieters.
The centre of midfield included Glenn Whelan and Steven Nzonzi, with Stephen Ireland featuring in the more advanced role.
Austrian international Marko Arnautovic continued on the left flank, having impressed in that position over the course of the past few months.
Whelan was handed the captain’s armband for the clash with Shawcross suspended.
Stoke City: Begovic; Cameron, Wilson, Muniesa, Pieters; Assaidi, Whelan (c), Ireland, Nzonzi, Arnautovic; Odemwingie. Subs: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Palacios, Adam, Etherington, Walters, Crouch.