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Stoke face defensive injury crisis ahead of Chelsea clash

  • Stoke will be forced to reshuffle against Chelsea due to a defensive injury crisis
  • Kevin Wimmer is a doubt while Ryan Shawcross and Geoff Cameron are injured
  • Chelsea loanee Kurt Zouma is unavailable to feature against his parent club
  • Mark Hughes is hopeful Wimmer will recover from his hamstring injury to play
  • As they currently only have one fit recognised centre-half in Bruno Martins Indi
  • Hughes may be forced to hand 18-year-old Josh Tymon first Premier League start

Stoke are facing a defensive injury crisis ahead of Chelsea’s visit to the bet365 Stadium with Kevin Wimmer a major doubt and Kurt Zouma unable to play against his parent club.

Ryan Shawcross and Geoff Cameron are already on the sidelines so should Wimmer not recover it would leave Mark Hughes with only Bruno Martins Indi as a fit recognised centre-half.

Hughes is determined to keep his preferred back-three system, meaning Erik Pieters or Glen Johnson might be considered suitable for adapting to a central defensive role.

Stoke face a defensive injury crisis ahead of Chelsea as they wait on Kevin Wimmer’s recovery

Darren Fletcher has in the past played at centre-back when Manchester United’s defence was beset by injury, while Hughes could promote 18-year-old Harry Souter. 

‘We are struggling a little bit defensively, I have to say,’ Hughes said. ‘Ryan won’t be available, Geoff Cameron won’t be available and we’ve got a major doubt on Kevin Wimmer. That’s touch and go. We will have to see how he is today.

Ryan Shawcross and Geoff Cameron are out while Kurt Zouma (Right) cannot face parent club

Ryan Shawcross and Geoff Cameron are out while Kurt Zouma (Right) cannot face parent club

Mark Hughes admitted as things stand they have only got one fit recognised centre-half

Mark Hughes admitted as things stand they have only got one fit recognised centre-half

‘Kevin’s damaged a hamstring. We are hoping it’s not going to stop him playing. We haven’t given up hope, he might be ok. As it stands on senior centre halves, we’ve only got one.’ 

Wimmer damaged his hamstring against Bristol City on Tuesday, while Shawcross and Cameron are still a week away from training fully.

The expected reshuffle might mean Josh Tymon, the 18-year-old signed from Hull this summer, gets a first Premier League appearance for Stoke at left wing back. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk