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Assaidi out for six weeks

Stoke have been dealt a blow in their fight against relegation from the Barclays Premier League with the news winger Oussama Assaidi will be missing for up to six weeks.

The on-loan Liverpool player tore a medial knee ligament in training during Stoke's warm weather break in Dubai this week.


Hughes: Stoke will benefit from break

Stoke manager Mark Hughes is relishing the prospect of escaping the wretched British weather as he now heads to sunnier climes to plot his side's bid for Barclays Premier League survival.

Hughes and his squad travel to Dubai on Thursday for six days of warm-weather training, leaving behind a weather-battered Britain that is being subjected to heavy rains and high winds.

I think a lot of clubs are doing it at this time of year because as we all know, the weather is compromising a lot of things.

From our point of view, as a football club, it's difficult at the training ground at the moment because the pitches aren't in good condition and you can't do the work you want to do.

At least we won't have any issue in that regard (in Dubai). We will have a decent surface to get some quality work done and be ready for the challenges ahead of us.

– Stoke manager Mark Hughes


Hughes over Jones incident

Stoke manager Mark Hughes claims his squad has been strengthened since Kenwyne Jones left and wants to draw a line under the striker's controversial departure.

Kenwyne was frustrated because he wasn't playing. I said at the time I didn't think it was the correct way to go about it.

He will say he was justified because he got a move and a longer contract.

He has moved on, we have moved on. I still felt he had a role here, but that wasn't to be. We made the move that was correct for Stoke City.

Kenwyne is no longer a Stoke player, so I don't particularly need to speak about him.

We wish him well but we'll try to get on with what we're trying to do.

– Stoke boss Mark Hughes

Rooney, Mata and Van Persie all start for Man United


#mufc team to face Stoke: De Gea; Jones, Smalling, Evans, Evra; Carrick, Cleverley; Young, Rooney, Mata; van Persie.


#mufc subs at the Britannia Stadium: Lindegaard, Rafael, Valencia, Fletcher, Januzaj, Hernandez, Welbeck.

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