12 September 2014 18:11
Stoke City will take a late decision on whether striker Mame Biram Diouf is able to face Leicester City in Saturday’s Premier League clash.
Senegal striker Diouf was Stoke’s hero at Manchester City prior to the international break, scoring a fine solo goal to secure a shock 1-0 win for Mark Hughes’ side.
However, it remains to be seen whether the 26-year-old will start at the Britannia Stadium this weekend after representing his country in games against Egypt and Botswana in the past week.
Speaking in a media conference on Friday, Stoke boss Hughes said: “Mame Diouf was walking into the building as I left so I haven’t had a chance to speak to him, but by all accounts he’s okay.
“We have to make a judgement on Mam, just to see whether or not we feel [he’s ready] physically and mentally, in terms of the amount of travelling he’s done.
“We’ll get a feeling for that before the game and then I’ll make a decision on whether he plays or not.”
Hughes confirmed Stephen Ireland is unlikely to feature against Leicester, the midfielder having only recently returned to training following a minor muscular injury, while Geoff Cameron (hernia) and long-term absentee Peter Odemwingie (knee) are out.
The Welshman still has a number of options at his disposal, however, as Stoke seek to follow up an impressive triumph at the Etihad Stadium.
“We’ve got a very strong squad and they’re all senior players and they all want to play. It’s just about picking the right team for the opposition we’re up against,” added Hughes.
“Obviously two weeks ago against Manchester City, we picked a team and had a gameplan that we felt would work for us and thankfully that’s how it panned out, but it’s different opposition [in Leicester] and they’ll set us different problems, so maybe different personnel are required.
“I’ve got an idea of which way we’re going to go. The fact our last home game [a 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa] was a bit flat from our point of view – we had a lot of expectation before the game and on the day Villa were the better team in terms of being able to execute their gameplan – I think we’ll use that more as a motivation than the Man City game.
“We want to make sure we get maximum points.”