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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Hughes Sweating On Pair

MARK HUGHES is sweating on the fitness of two of his players ahead of tomorrow's Barclays Premier League showdown against title-contenders Arsenal.

The Potters play host to the Gunners at the Britannia Stadium bidding to maintain an impress home record this season, that already boasts monumental victories over the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United.

The Welshman's hopes of adding Arsenal to that list however could rest on the availability of wide-men Peter Odemwingie and Jonathan Walters, both of whom have been nursing problems this week.

"We have a few issues coming into the game, which is a little bit disappointing," he said at the pre-match press conference.

"Peter Odemwingie has a slight problem with his calf which will need checking tomorrow and Jonathan Walters has been ill this week too, but think, and hope, that he is over that now.

"We will have to double check on him tomorrow though, just as we will with Peter. Hopefully they will both be ok to feature."

Meanwhile, long-term absentees Oussama Assaidi and Robert Huth are both showing signs of progression in their rehabilitation back from injury, although neither are in contention to feature on Saturday.

"It was good to see Robert out there earlier this week in the friendly game, albeit for 45 minutes, and he is progressing well," he added.

"Obviously we need to take it one step at a time because we don't want to aggravate anything, so we are giving him loads that he can cope with at the moment.

"Ozzie (Oussama Assaidi) meanwhile, was out there today doing a bit of work away from the group, and that was encouraging, but he is still a few weeks away from training at the moment."

The 50-year-old is able to include John Guidetti in his matchday squad for this weekend's encounter, after the Swedish international was forced to sit out last weekend's 1-0 defeat against his parent club Manchester City.

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