MARK HUGHES handed Glenn Whelan his first Premier League start since the opening day of the season in Saturday’s Barclays Premier League encounter against Southampton.
The Republic of Ireland international came into the side at the expense of Honduran Wilson Palacios, who dropped down to the bench after featuring for the duration of Tuesday night’s dramatic Capital One Cup triumph over Birmingham City.
The recalled Geoff Cameron and Erik Pieters joined Whelan in the side after they were rested at St Andrews, whilst Asmir Begovic, Jon Walters and Stephen Ireland were also included in the starting eleven.
Peter Crouch started against his former side having netted in each of the Potters two last games, with Marko Arnautovic, who has also netted twice this past week, lining up on the left hand side of a front three.
Walters occupied the berth on the right, with Ireland featuring in the more advanced central midfield role.
Stoke City: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross (c), Huth, Pieters; Walters, Whelan, Ireland, Nzonzi, Arnautovic; Crouch. Subs: Sorensen, Palacios, Wilson, Adam, Assaidi, Etherington, Jones.