Stoke City had a torrid start to the season, but as the games pile up they’re beginning to find themselves climbing the table. From humble beginnings they’re now just three points outside the top six.
In a division where one win separates ten teams, any early season form can soon be erased with a couple of wins and going into the international break, Gary Rowett will be significantly happier than he has been.
His side should be doing well, they kept the nucleus of a very good squad and spent money in the summer as well, not least on Ryan Woods, James McClean and Sam Clucas. They need to be around the top six to justify the outlay and perhaps getting close to it is only what they should be doing, nothing more.
Being freshly relegated they will still have some money to spend in the winter window, which is where the real advantage can be found. They’ll have the means to bring players in and move them on and that could see them rise sharply, or fall into the middle of the pack.
Here’s the perfect Stoke City double deal for January as we see it.