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MATCH PREVIEW: Basement battle at Stoke is so crucial for Ramos

PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:30 07 September 2010

Promoted Stoke have experienced a horror start to their campaign with just four points from seven games since they returned to the top-flight this season. Yet despite the Potters poor start they remain two points ahead of struggling Spurs. Stoke, who have home advantage for Sunday's afternoon kick-off, claimed

Promoted Stoke have experienced a horror start to their campaign with just four points from seven games since they returned to the top-flight this season.

Yet despite the Potters' poor start they remain two points ahead of struggling Spurs.

Stoke claimed last season's second automatic promotion spot when they racked up 21 wins and 16 draws to finish two points ahead of champions West Brom.

But manager Tony Pulis's outfit has struggled to cope with the transition to the Premier League and have already lost five times since their return.

The Potters were swiftly forced to face the realities of top flight life when they were thumped 3-1 by Bolton in the season's opening game after going in 3-0 down at half-time. But Stoke had the look of quick learners when they followed up with a shock 3-2 defeat of Martin O'Neill's Aston Villa and then beat Cheltenham in the Carling Cup second round.

But despite keeping their cup dreams alive when they beat Reading in Carling third round four week's later the Potters have failed to win a league game since.

Nevertheless a goalless draw at Anfield shows what Pulis's men are capable of and recent signing Dave Kitson (Reading £5.5m), will be eager to score his first goal for the club. Midfielder Seyi Olofinjana (Wolves £3m) is another newcomer who will be eager to keep his place in the first team while Rory Delap's long throws could prove vital against a brittle Lilywhites defence.

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