Stoke City.

It has been intriguing to watch Mark Hughes turn Stoke from a team of rugged bruisers into a footballing side packed with flair players. A promising 9th place finish last season and they’ll be hoping to do better this season and qualify for European competition. Marko Arnautovic was on fire last season, as was Shaquiri – who’s taken an extended break from her singing to continue playing this year. Lack of a prolific goalscorer seems to be holding them back though at present. Attempts to pluck Saido Berahinho from West Brom appear to have stalled but many would question if even he can grab the goals they require to go to the next level. Some suggest it could be Bojan’s year whilst others think that’s just a medical condition. Joe Allen arrives with a point to prove following a successful Euros and will fit into midfield nicely.

Key man: Marko Arnautovic

Best signing: Joe Allen

Verdict: 10th

By Darren Wells


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