Mark Hughes

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Premier League Preview: Swansea City vs. Stoke City

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  • Potters won 3-1 on Halloween
  • Stoke leads all-time 25W-21D-21L
  • 5W-3D-3L in Premier League

Swansea City’s safety fight gets a Saturday visit from a Stoke City side seeking club history (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on CNBC and online via NBCSports.com).

Swans are two points back of Hull City for 17th and have been ice cold in recent weeks, failing to build on a remarkable run at the turn of the calendar. Since winning five of eight to start 2017, Swans are winless in six with just a single point gained in a visit from Middlesbrough.

Stoke hasn’t been great shakes, either, though perhaps the Potters woke up in snapping a four-match losing skid with a 3-1 win at Hull City last week. They also have the goal of finishing in the Premier League’s top half for an unprecedented fourth-straight season.

What they’re saying

Swans captain Leon Britton on the import of win“Stoke is the biggest game we have had in a long time. And whenever we have had big games in the past, our fans have always played a vital role for us. They have helped us achieve all the things we have achieved during my time at the club and we need them to do it again for us now.”

Stoke boss Mark Hughes on facing a struggling foe“We need to go to Swansea and understand their situation and capitalize on it. The key is to suck confidence from them.I’m sure Paul Clement is enjoying the experience of managing in the Premier League even if it’s a difficult situation for him.”

Prediction

Stoke has a bunch of battlers, and that character will serve it well against a desperate Swans. Expect both teams to strike in a 1-1 draw.

Mourinho: English managers need different standards

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Jose Mourinho may sound like he’s patronizing, but we’re pretty sure this is legit praise.

Asked about British managers, namely his Saturday opponent Tony Pulis of West Bromwich Albion, Mourinho said they need to be viewed for non-traditional trophies.

You know, like not being relegated.

[ MORE: New deals for Baines, Barry, Holgate ]

Certainly Mourinho enjoys stirring the pot, but we think his comments — and inclusion of ex-United and current Sunderland boss David Moyes — is genuine (Stoke’s Mark Hughes, ex-Man City, also is mentioned):

“If you manage big teams – Real Madrid, Inter, Barca, Bayern, Juve, Borussia Dortmund – you have targets. Obviously those targets are impossible for people like Tony Pulis, Alan Pardew, Mark Hughes, David Moyes.

“Tony got trophies everywhere. By trophies I mean not relegated with Stoke, West Brom, Crystal Palace. He has lots of trophies. He has reached his targets. Like Sam Allardyce – never relegated. You don’t expect him to be the champion.

“English managers are not looked at like they should.”

Mourinho is disliked and vilified by many, and his strong criticisms have landed him a bit of a pathos; It’s difficult to think he’s being a jerk with these comments, but if you want to read them this way you can, and many will happily do so.

Ultimately, he’s commenting from a pragmatic position.

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Stoke’s Hughes senses Arsenal could win Premier League

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A longtime Manchester United player who managed two sides in London, this probably stings a bit for Mark Hughes.

The Stoke City boss has admitted he’s feeling positive about Arsenal’s chances at a run to the Premier League title this season.

[ MORE: Swans committed to Bradley ]

Hughes, 53, leads his Potters into the Emirates Stadium for a 10 a.m. EDT Saturday date with the Gunners, and knows the challenge is high.

The manager has the Potters up to ninth after a poor start to the season, and Stoke is closer to sixth than the relegation stew.

From the BBC:

“Arsenal, as a team, look in good shape and whilst we have a lot of confidence, given their form too, it isn’t a good time to play them.

“At times, Arsenal have struggled with consistency, and it has cost them, but you sense this could be their year. It’s important for us to give ourselves an opportunity to get something out of the game, we need to stay in the match and frustrate them.”

This week’s match with Arsenal kicks off a four-week run that goes Arsenal, Saints, Leicester, Liverpool, Chelsea.

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Mark Hughes urges USMNT to not call up Geoff Cameron

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LONDON — The U.S. national team have been warned not to call up Geoff Cameron for their crucial World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and Costa Rica.

[ MORE: Cameron struggling ]

Speaking after Stoke City’s 1-1 draw with West Ham United at the London Stadium on Saturday, Stoke manager Mark Hughes urged Jurgen Klinsmann to resist the urge to call up Cameron, 31, as he struggles to fully recover from a knee injury sustained last week.

Asked by ProSoccerTalk about Cameron’s chances of making the crunch fifth-round CONCACAF World Cup qualifier against Mexico in Columbus, Ohio next Friday, Hughes fired a warning shot to the USMNT.

Will Cameron play for the USA next week?

“I wouldn’t have thought so. I’d be a little bit aggrieved if the USA called him in to check him over. Clearly he’s not here today because he is not fit. They should hopefully take our word on that,” Hughes said. “I don’t see any point in them asking him to travel just to get checked over. That would compromise him a little bit as well. If sense prevails hopefully he will be fit and well for the next time they come together.”

With Klinsmann to name his squad on Sunday, losing Cameron, which now seems highly likely, is a massive blow.

The versatile Massachusetts native has excelled in central midfield for Stoke this season but it’s been at center back where he’s been key for the USA. He played in every single minute of the run to the Copa America Centenario semifinals last summer and he also started all of the qualifying games in the fourth round of World Cup qualifiers.

His influence has been huge on the USMNT’s back line and on the team overall. Hence why Klinsmann may be thinking of calling him up to see if he can play in at least the game against Costa Rica next Tuesday.

Cameron’s partnership with John Brooks has been a big reason for the USA’s recent good form and losing his leadership and experience ahead of two pivotal qualifiers at home against Mexico and then a tough trip to Costa Rica will be a headache for Klinsmann. One of Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, Michael Orozco or Steve Birnbaum will likely step up to partner Brooks.

If Klinsmann does surprisingly call up Cameron tomorrow, expect Stoke and Hughes to be very upset.

Geoff Cameron backs Mark Hughes as Stoke’s poor run continues

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U.S. national team defender Geoff Cameron is sure Stoke City can turn things around after a bad start to the season.

[ MORE: Mourinho slams “Einsteins” ]

Mark Hughes‘ men have yet to win in the Premier League as they sit bottom of the table on 1 point after four defeats from their opening five games and on top of that they were knocked out of the EFL Cup on Wednesday as Hull City scored an stoppage-time winner despite Stoke dominating the game.

That’s just the way things are going for the Staffordshire club right now.

Speaking to Sky Sports Cameron, who played in central midfield against Hull on Wednesday, believes in Hughes and his staff and thinks the Potters will get back to winning ways soon enough.

“We are all happy with Mark Hughes and the staff. They are fantastic and over the last three years we’ve been a top 10 club. He [Hughes] has changed the whole idea and philosophy of the club and I think it is on the up,” Cameron said. “You go through bad spells, good and bad, but most of the time we are a consistent team and we are a team to be reckoned with. Right now it is not a great time but saying that we have a ton of games left to change that around.”

Just to give Stoke’s fans a little hope after a poor start to this season, the Potters didn’t win any of their opening six games last season in the Premier League and ended up finishing ninth for a third-straight season under Hughes.

Although the early form isn’t great, don’t forget that star goalkeeper Jack Butland is out injured and plenty of new players such as Wilfried Bony, Bruno Martins Indi and Joe Allen are still settling in at the bet 365 Stadium. Those growing pains have shown with 14 goals conceded in five PL games and just three scored.

It is way too early in the season to be saying Hughes is under pressure (that hasn’t stop the bookies making him the favorite to be the next PL manager sacked) and like Cameron said, with 33 games to go in the PL the dust will settle in the coming months and we’ll get a clear picture of what is in store for Stoke this season.