Huth in Stoke squad

Posted Saturday, August 29, 2009 by PA

Stoke's new signing Robert Huth will go straight into the squad for the visit of Sunderland.

Huth could even start in central defence if Ryan Shawcross, who has been struggling with his latest bout of growing pains, fails a late fitness check.

James Beattie should be fit to return in attack after recovering from the knee injury which forced his early withdrawal at Birmingham last Saturday.

Boss Tony Pulis is certain to revert to his full strength team after making 11 changes for Tuesday's Carling Cup victory at Leyton Orient.

Pulis is delighted to have captured Huth in time for the game.

"Robert has a great presence about him," he said. "He is a big, strong defender and the fact he has played nearly 20 times for Germany is some recommendation in my book.

"He's one you know you can lean on."

Sunderland defender Danny Collins is not expected to be included in the squad as the Potters attempt to sign him.

But goalkeeper Craig Gordon could retain his place in the starting line-up after returning from knee surgery in Monday night's 4-1 Carling Cup win at Norwich with Marton Fulop struggling with a heel problem.

Fraizer Campbell was left battered and bruised by his collision with Canaries keeper Ben Alnwick but is expected to be fit, while midfielder Andy Reid, who scored twice, was one of several men to impress Steve Bruce after he rested nine of his key men.

Bruce is refusing to be carried away by Sunderland's impressive start to the new season.

The Black Cats have collected six points from a possible nine in the Barclays Premier League, losing only to Chelsea, and eased their way into the Carling Cup third round with the Norwich win.

Owner Ellis Short has already seen a promising return on his summer investment, which has taken Darren Bent, Lee Cattermole, Campbell, Lorik Cana and Paulo da Silva to the Stadium of Light in a #26million spending spree to date.

However, Bruce, who was charged with the task of establishing the club in the top half of the table after swapping Wigan for Wearside during the summer, knows his job has just started.

He said: "In management, you want to get off to a good start and you want to hit the ground running, of course. That always helps.

"But the one thing I have learnt is you can't get too carried away with it because around the corner, you are ready for a kicking.

"I think there's progress being made, I am delighted with what we have done in terms of what we have brought into the squad - they have all come and played a huge part already, and I am sure they will continue to do so."

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