Michael Laudrup will be without the services of key pairing Michu and Michel Vorm, who will sit out through injury and suspension, respectively. Gerhard Tremmel will deputise between the sticks, while Wilfried Bony is expected to lead the line after notching on European duties in midweek. Jonjo Shelvey should return having been absent midweek due to personal reasons.
Mark Hughes is cursed by a number of injury doubts ahead of the trip to the Liberty. Andy Wilkinson is set to remain on the sidelines with a knee problem but the Stoke boss has new concerns on the availability of Robert Huth, Jon Walters, Glenn Whelan and Erik Pieters. The quartet will all need to be assessed, although Whelan and Walters returned to training on Friday having missed out this week. Marc Wilson could come into contention to cover at the back, while Wilson Palacios and Charlie Adam offer options in midfield areas.