Premier League preview: Fulham v Stoke City
By Football News
American winger Brek Shea could make his debut for Stoke City on Saturday when his team travels south to London to take on Fulham.
Shea, who was transferred from FC Dallas to Stoke in the January transfer window for a reported fee of 2.5 million pounds, impressed in a practice match against Scunthorpe United on Monday, a performance which attracted the attention of manager Tony Pulis.
The 22-year-old American scored three goals and set up another two in his 22 matches for FC Dallas in last year's MLS season and Stoke coach Mark O'Connor confirmed after the friendly against Scunthorpe that Shea could play against Fulham in Saturday's English Premier League clash.
"It was nice for Brek to play another game," O'Connor told thisisstaffordshire.co.uk.
"He's getting to know his teammates and developing that understanding the more they play together.
"He comes into our thinking for Fulham.
"He is in the mind of the manager."
Stoke have only won one game away from home across all competitions this season but striker Jon Walters has claimed there is no mental barrier for the team when they play away from Britannia Stadium, admitting he did not realise how poor their record was.
"There's no barrier," Walters said.
"We don't go into any game thinking anything except trying to get a result.
"I didn't realise our record was so bad, so it would be something nice to improve on... well, we can only improve on it really."
Stoke's last performance, a 2-1 win against Reading two weeks ago, snapped a four-game winless streak and Pulis will hope last weekend's break due to the FA Cup does not negatively affect his side.
Pulis may be able to call on Marc Wilson after the Irish defender, who has been out of the team since October with a broken leg, played in the friendly against Scunthorpe.
Fulham manager Martin Jol should have Kieran Richardson available with the 28-year-old midfielder having recovered from his calf injury.
Jol's team moved up to 12th in the recent round of the Premier League with a 0-0 draw away to Norwich.
Having picked up eight points in their past six Premier League matches, Fulham are slowly recovering after their terrible run through November and December but Jol will still have concerns ahead of the visit of 10th-placed Stoke as Fulham have only scored in one of their past four fixtures; a 3-1 victory over West Ham.