Stoke Welcome Hull

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Very few fans got particularly excited when the draw for the Third Round of the EFL Cup was made.

But Wednesday’s match against Hull represents an excellent opportunity for Stoke to kick-start their season.

Hull are an opponent that are certainly beatable and the morale boost that would bring would arguably be more important than reaching the next round of the competition.

Stoke’s sole victory to date this season was in the EFL Cup, when Mark Hughes made a number of changes in a glorified exhibition match against Stevenage.

But it’s unlikely Hughes will call the changes tomorrow- there is plenty at stake, particularly after receiving what could be perceived as the dreaded ‘vote of confidence’ from Peter Coates.

Instead, Hughes is anticipated to play the starting line-up that he expects will kick-off against West Brom on Saturday- another match that is extremely important, of course.

Should Stoke get past Hull the atmosphere around the club may not be buoyant, but it would certainly be far more positive than it is right now. And it’s imperative certain members of our side taste victory sooner rather than later. Only half of the side that lost to Crystal Palace have been on the winning side this season.

I’m sure Hughes will make changes from that team that fell so meekly at Selhurst Park though. With the exception of Joe Allen, nobody’s place in the team is safe after a performance as poor as that.

Regardless of what team the manager goes with, there is no doubt that we’ve entered a crucial phase of our season and Hughes’ tenure.

A positive result against Hull will go a long way to helping us get out on the right side of that phase.

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