Tuesday 11 December 2018

Lambert wants his strikers to give him options as he plots a route to survival

Stoke are averaging a goal per game in the Premier League.

Stoke City v Watford – Premier League – bet365 Stadium
Stoke City v Watford – Premier League – bet365 Stadium

By Press Association Sport staff

Stoke manager Paul Lambert wants his goal-shy strikers to give him a selection dilemma as he looks to steer the club away from the Premier League relegation battle.

The Potters have scored 25 goals in 25 league games this season, with Mame Biram Diouf the top scorer with five, and find themselves just a point above the relegation places.

Diouf went nine games without a goal in all competitions before scoring in the 2-0 win over Huddersfield last month and Lambert will look for fellow strikers Peter Crouch and Saido Berahino to shoulder some of the goalscoring burden.

“I think Mame gives us something different to what we have and he has obviously started the last couple of games, and scored a goal too,” Lambert told a pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to Bournemouth, who enjoyed a 3-0 win at Chelsea on Wednesday.

“That said, Peter came on in midweek [in the 0-0 draw with Watford] and changed the game in our favour, so he is a very good option for us too. Saido Berahino is a fantastic finisher too, I have seen that in training, and if he can get a little bit fitter then he is somebody who can have a real impact.

“In terms of quality, he has it, and so do the other guys. We just need the three of them firing, giving me selection headaches.”

Defender Moritz Bauer has helped Stoke keep two clean sheets in the three appearances he has made since his January move from Rubin Kazan and is determined to maintain his impressive start to life at the club.

“It is vitally important that we get enough points to stay in the Premier League, and with the quality we have, and a great manager, I really believe we will do that,” Bauer told the club’s website.

“It is going to be difficult though because there are many teams in a situation like ourselves, so we have to do all we can to make sure that we finish the season in a strong position.”

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