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Crouchy ready for Potters test

Posted on 22 October 2009  - 12:00

Peter Crouch expects Stoke to test us to the limit at the Lane on Saturday.

Peter Crouch expects Stoke to test us to the limit at the Lane on Saturday.

The striker insists there can be no surprises from a side whose reputation is now firmly established in the Barclays Premier League.

Victories against the likes of Arsenal, Villa and City - plus a 2-1 win against us in October - helped Stoke win 10 of their 19 homes to finish a fine 12th in their debut season in the top flight last term.

This time around they are ninth and, unlike last summer, the words ‘Stoke' and ‘relegation' are hardly heard together in a sentence.

"When they first came up they were favourites to go straight back down but credit to Stoke, they've done fantastically well and they've established themselves in the Premier League," said Crouchy, who scored against them for Pompey last season.

"Teams might have fallen into the trap of thinking they were going to go out there and roll Stoke over last season but now everyone knows that's not the case.

"We all know what they are all about. They are always a tough, tough team and a team that will be difficult to break down, a team that will try to impose itself on the game.

"They've had some great results, beat top teams and quite often teams just don't know how to deal with them with the long throws and set-pieces, but they have a lot of quality as well, so we'll have to be careful. It's not an easy game.

"We've got to be able to match their effort and commitment and that's something we'll endeavour to do.

"All said and done though, with the quality we have, we'd like to say we've got enough to beat them."