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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Robert Ruled Out?

MARK HUGHES has revealed that Robert Huth is a major doubt for Tuesday night's Capital One Cup encounter against Birmingham City having suffered an ankle injury during Saturday's narrow 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford.

The German international was the victim of a late and unnecessary challenge from match-winner Javier Hernandez at the weekend, leaving his chances of participating in tomorrow's clash at St Andrews as extremely remote.

"It was a very disappointing challenge, and ultimately it has left Robert with a very swollen ankle and he looks all but certain to miss out on the game tomorrow night because of what happened," Hughes said at the pre-match press conference.

"He is still desperate to play in the game though, because that is the nature of Robert - he is a tough lad. Because of that we will give him as much time as possible to try and get right in time to feature.

"It has to be said though, at this stage it is very unlikely that he will be involved at this stage though, whilst we also have both Glenn Whelan (calf strain) and Andy Wilkinson (knee) struggling because of niggling problems too."

He added: "We will assess each of the lads over the next 24 hours and then make a decision on them closer to kick-off."

The Welshman, who has won the League Cup twice during his career, says that he will make a number of changes to his side, but insists that whichever eleven he does field will have the quality to see off the Blues.

"I will make changes, some enforced and others to give some of the lads an opportunity, but whoever is out there, they will have the right qualities to go on and win us the game.

"I have never played a weak team in any game that I have been involved in, and tomorrow will be absolutely no different. We want to progress in the competition and hopefully we can do that. 

"Birmingham are a good side and they come into the game on the back of a very encouraging result at Derby on Saturday, so we won't be going there expecting a comfortable evening."

Hughes also confirmed that forward Marko Arnautovic is available for selection, despite having to be withdrawn early in the second half of the clash with Manchester United because of illness.

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