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Stoke City v Crystal Palace starting line-ups

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Jermaine Pennant joins injury-ravaged Wigan

Former Liverpool and Stoke winger Jermaine Pennant has signed a deal with injury-hit Championship side Wigan until the end of the season.

Former Liverpool man Pennant has joined Wigan. Credit: PA

The 32-year-old last played in England on New Year's Day in 2014 and was a free agent having recently returned from a stint in the Indian Super League.

Pennant trained with Wigan last week and was in attendance at the DW Stadium on Friday night as their worrying form continued in a 3-0 loss to Charlton which leaves them deep in the relegation mire.

Stoke faced with injury problems for Man City game

Stoke manager Mark Hughes is without a number of key players ahead of his side's Barclays Premier League clash with Manchester City at the Britannia Stadium on Wednesday as injuries are beginning to mount.

Ireland is struggling with a hamstring problem. Credit: PA

Stephen Ireland (hamstring) and Marc Wilson (groin) are the latest additions to the treatment room, joining Ryan Shawcross (back) and Erik Pieters (hernia), along with long-term casualties Bojan Krkic and Peter Odemwingie (both knee).

Marko Arnautovic, who missed Saturday's 1-1 draw at Newcastle with an ankle injury, has a chance of making the 18 for the clash with City, although Hughes feels the midfielder is more likely to return for the FA Cup fifth-round tie at Blackburn on Saturday.

Stoke squad: Begovic, Butland, Wollscheid, Muniesa, Bardsley, Cameron, Nzonzi, Adam, Whelan, Sidwell, Palacios, Walters, Arnautovic, Crouch, Moses, Diouf.

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Tottenham winger heading to Stoke over Hull and QPR

Stoke have emerged as front runners in the race to sign Spurs winger Aaron Lennon, who is surplus to requirements at White Hart Lane.

Stoke were impressed with Lennon's jumping abilities. Credit: Reuters

The former England winger was heavily tipped to join Hull last week, but manager Steve Bruce conceded it would be much more difficult to attract players following Saturday's 3-0 home defeat against Newcastle.

By contrast, Stoke maintained their top-half-of-the-table status with victory over QPR, who themselves been linked with Lennon and his Spurs team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor.

Stoke manager issues hands off warning over Bojan

Stoke manager Mark Hughes has sent a simple message to any clubs looking to snatch Bojan Krkic: "Don't bother."

Bojan has impressed for the Potters. Credit: PA

Liverpool has been touted as a potential move for the former Barcelona youngster after impressive start with Stoke.

Rumours of their interest were initially flaky but talk of an approach for the 24-year-old has gathered steam this week, with Reds boss Brendan Rodgers perhaps looking to bolster his sometimes meagre looking forward line.

Hughes was quick to dismiss such talk ahead of Monday's FA Cup fourth-round trip to Rochdale.

Don't bother.

He's done exceptionally well. We knew it would take a little bit of time for him to get to grips with the Premier League and he's done that.

He's playing well. He's a talented football player and I think he's proving that in the Premier League.

At this stage of his career that he's had disappointments such as being sent out on loan by Barcelona, the disappointments he had in terms of his game time and maybe how he was treated in certain situations.

So he's come here and really embraced what we're doing and I think he's enjoying the environment that we can give him. I think he's very happy. We have no intention of encouraging any interest in him. He's a big part of what we want to do, moving forward, so it's a non-story.

– Stoke manager Mark Hughes
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