West Brom v Stoke City: Begovic expecting fiery Hawthorns clash
Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic is expecting a fiery clash when his side visit West Brom and former boss Tony Pulis aiming to take another step towards a top-eight finish in the Premier League.
Mark Hughes' men sit eighth in the table following a run of three straight wins, and should be confident of picking up three more points on Saturday given they have triumphed on their last five visits to The Hawthorns.
Four of those Stoke victories at West Brom came under Pulis, and Begovic has played down talk of any complacency ahead of a reunion with his old manager.
He told The Sentinel: "We've got a good record at West Brom. But we know Tony will set up his team very well and very organised, so it will be difficult.
"To be honest, I don't remember too many easy games there, we've always had to play well to get a result there.
"They are going to want to put the record straight and we have to make sure we are on top of our game.
"Being a local derby we will have a good following and so the atmosphere will be great, as always, and with the history it will spice the game up.
"They are trying to climb away from the bottom and so it's going to be one hell of a battle. They are going to be fired up and ready to go.
"We are in a fantastic position and we've made that happen. Our performances have warranted it.
"We've got 10 games to build on that, so there's plenty to play for to make sure we finish strong."
Captain Ryan Shawcross could return for the visitors following a back injury, but Philipp Wollscheid (groin) seems unlikely to feature.
Stephen Ireland (calf), Marc Muniesa (hamstring), Peter Odemwingie (knee) and Bojan Krkic (knee) are also unavailable to Hughes.
Pulis confirmed on Thursday that West Brom top-scorer Saido Berahino is struggling with an injury, while fellow forwards Brown Ideye and Victor Anichebe are also doubts.
Winger Callum McManaman (foot) is set for a two- to three-week spell on the sidelines and Claudio Yacob is suspended.
Much like his former club, Pulis is eyeing a strong finish to the campaign after helping West Brom to pull eight points clear of the bottom three since taking over in January.
A repeat of the 1-0 win Pulis enjoyed against Stoke with Crystal Palace last season would be a welcome boost to the Welshman.
"I had a wonderful time at Stoke, it was absolutely fantastic," Pulis said. "I had that first experience [of playing against Stoke] at Palace - it was very good, [I'm] looking forward to it.
"The important thing is to have a good finish. The last 10 games are always tough. We have to pick points up and we have to pick points up quickly.
"They [Stoke] have been on a good run. The confidence will be high, we know it will be a tough game."