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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Wilko Ruled Out

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MARK HUGHES will have an almost full compliment of players available to him for Saturday's Barclays Premier League encounter against Southampton at the Britannia Stadium.

The City boss confirmed that Andy Wilkinson is the only player certain to miss out against the in-form Saints, having picked p a knee injury that is likely to sideline him for at least another seven days.

The rest of the squad are expected to be deemed fit to feature at the weekend, despite a number of them playing the full 120 minutes of Tuesday night's enthralling penalty shoot-out victory against Birmingham City in the Capital One Cup.

Speaking at the pre-match press conference, the Welshman said: "Everyone apart from Andy is fine, so we are looking pretty good in terms of availability of players.

"Andy has a bit of a knee problem, and rather than trying to rush him back we just feel that it is best for him to sit this one out, and look to get it right over the coming week."

The Welshman must decide whether to recall the likes of Stephen Ireland, Jonathan Walters and Erik Pieters back into his line-up after they sat out the midweek clash at St. Andrews. 

Asmir Begovic is certain to return in goal, whilst checks will be made on the likes of Wilson Palacios and Marc Wilson, both of whom featured for the duration of the Capital One Cup 4th Round clash earlier in the week.

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