Wilson Palacios is being lined up for his first Premier League start for Stoke, with the midfielder having worked hard to build up his fitness.
The Potters snapped up the Honduras international from Tottenham at the end of August, but have been forced to take a patient approach when it comes to easing him into their first-team fold.
He made his top-flight bow for the club against Liverpool on 10th September, but has been used sparingly since in an effort to give him time to work on his match sharpness.
Palacios has come through two 90-minute run-outs in the Europa League and it is felt that he is now ready to be unleashed in domestic competition.
Tony Pulis finds himself short on midfield options for Wednesday's meeting with Manchester City - with Glenn Whelan and Rory Delap struggling with knocks - and he has hinted that he will turn to his £6million summer signing to plug the gaps.
"He needs games and these are the games he will need," Pulis told The Sentinel of Palacios.
"He is getting there, but it has been a longer and a slower process than we thought.
"But he has worked really hard to get there, so there have been no complaints on my part.
"We have just had to be really careful with him along the way because of his knee.
"It's important that when we do get him fit and out there that he stays fit and out there. But I've been pleased with what I've seen from him in training."