Mark Hughes’ Stoke City travel to Ewood Park to face Championship outfit Blackburn Rovers, as the fifth round of the FA Cup continues.
Gary Bowyer’s side will hope to cause another upset in the FA Cup, after beating Premier League side Swansea 3-1 in the previous round of the competition, despite being 1-0 down after 21 minutes, and this came after Blackburn’s efficient 2-1 win over Charlton in the third round.
However, the Lancashire based club have been less fortunate in the Championship. They are currently 9th in the table, and in their last four league matches, they have suffered defeats to both Watford and Derby.
Stoke manager Mark Hughes will be returning to his former club, who he managed between 2004 and 2008, and he will want to see an instant response from his side after their 4-1 defeat to Manchester City at the Britannia Stadium in midweek.
Hughes will not want to see his FA Cup run this season end abruptly, after claiming a 4-1 victory over Rochdale in the previous round, and a 3-1 victory over Wrexham in the third round of the competition.
However, this is set to be a difficult match for his side, as Blackburn have only lost twice in their last 20 FA Cup home games. Jay Spearing will not be available for selection for Gary Bowyer, as he is cup-tied, while David Dunn and Jason Lowe will also be unavailable for Blackburn.
It is expected that Jack Butland will start in goal for Stoke, and Asmir Begovic will be rested, while Ryan Shawcross, Bojan and Stephen Ireland are all set to miss the match through injury. Blackburn will feel confident playing at home, and after beating Swansea in the previous round, they will believe that they can win this match.
Eastwood, Henley, Duffy, Kilgallon (c), Olsson, Taylor, Cairney, Williamson, Marshall, Gestede, King. Steele, Spurr, Hanley, Rhodes, Varney, Evans, Conway.
Butland; Cameron, Muniesa, Wollscheid, Bardsley; Arnautovic, Nzonzi, Whelan, Moses; Crouch, Diouf. Sorensen; Wilkinson, Adam, Teixeira, Shenton, Palacios; Sidwell