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Stoke boss Hughes wants to end year on high at Liverpool


Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes hopes to end the year on a high as the side prepare for trips to the Premier League's top-two teams boosted by the return of winger Ibrahim Afellay.

Stoke are 11th in the table after 17 games and travel to second-placed Liverpool on Tuesday before facing leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge four days later.

"We are under no illusions as to how good they both are and how difficult the matches will be for us," Hughes said.

"We have to go into the games with real belief, we had that last season, and we will give it a go this time round too. Not many people are thinking we have a chance of gaining positive results but that certainly isn't the case within our camp."

Dutchman Afellay has been named in the Stoke squad for the first time in eight months after finally recovering from knee ligament damage.