Wolves v Stoke preview
Stoke will look to begin the next stage of their development by taking three points when they travel to Wolves.
Last Updated: 13/08/10 11:46am
Stoke will look to begin the next stage of their development by opening their campaign with a win when they travel to take on Wolves.
Manager Tony Pulis splashed out a club record £8million on striker Kenwyne Jones this week to bolster his attacking options.
Jones showed promising signs at former club Sunderland but was unable to perform consistently and Pulis will aim to bring the best out of the Trinidadian.
The 25-year-old gives added depth to an attacking pool that already includes Tuncay, Ricardo Fuller and Dave Kitson, who are all capable of finding the net.
Wolves will also look to build this campaign, albeit with slightly lower sights on their desired finishing place in the Premier League.
Mick McCarthy masterminded the Midland side's passage to safety last season and he has had a busy summer in the transfer market as the manager looks to shore up his ranks.
The club have brought in Jelle Van Damme and Steven Mouyokolo to strengthen their backline, while Steven Fletcher's £6.5million move from Burnley has signalled McCarthy's attacking intent.
Fletcher could well be called upon as Kevin Doyle is a major doubt for the opening day clash at Molineux.
The Irishman is suffering from bleeding in his calf and the injury ruled him out of the Republic's showpiece friendly against Argentina on Wednesday.
That means Slyvan Ebanks-Blake is on standby to partner Fletcher up front as Wolves set about consolidating their top-flight status.
Roland Zubar represents a doubt, meaning full-back Van Damme - recruited from Anderlecht - could make his debut.
Potters boss Pulis will make a late decision whether to throw Jones in for his City debut.
The manager has indicated the star signing maybe not be fit enough to start for the match and he could have to settle for a place on the bench.
Pulis has worries in midfield, having seen Salif Diao opt not to sign a new deal, Liam Lawrence out with a groin strain and Glenn Whelan struggling with a calf injury.
Defender Abdoulaye Faye is also a major concern with a hamstring injury collected in a recent pre-season friendly.
Possible starting XIs:
Wolves: Hahnemann, Mouyokolo, Craddock, Berra, Van Damme, Jarvis, Henry, Jones, Ward, Fletcher, Ebanks-Blake.
Stoke: Sorensen, Huth, Shawcross, Higginbotham, Delap, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington, Collins, Fuller, Tuncay.