Michael Owen is in line to make his Stoke debut against champions Manchester City on Saturday at the Britannia Stadium.
The former Manchester United, Liverpool and Real Madrid attacker signed a one-year pay-as-you-play deal in a free transfer on deadline day and could link up with England striker Peter Crouch, if selected by Stoke boss Tony Pulis.
Owen’s move was awaiting ratification from the Premier League but he was successfully registered in the 25-man playing squad in time.
Owen along with Charlie Adam (Liverpool) and Steven Nzonzi (Blackburn) were among seven off-season signings for Stoke, who again proved you do not need to break the bank to sign quality players.
Adam played over a half in Stoke’s 2-2 draw at Wigan on September 1, while Nzonzi may join Owen in the squad for his first action at the club.
Reigning champions City know they will be in for a torrid time at the Britannia, having battled to two draws and three losses in five matches since Stoke’s return to the Premier League in the 2008-09 season.
The two most recent clashes yielded 1-1 draws and on each occasion City required late equalisers.
Last season Yaya Toure cancelled out Peter Crouch’s staggering volley with 14 minutes to play while it took a Gareth Barry strike five minutes from time to rescue a point two seasons ago.
City are not the only side to succumb to Stoke’s physical style of play but know they can ill-afford to be chasing the game a man down after three red cards in their past five trips to Stoke.
City could welcome Barry (hernia) back for his first action of the season while Mario Balotelli is recovering from eye surgery, Sergio Aguero (knee) may just miss and new signing Jack Rodwell (knee) likewise.
Stoke have few injury concerns with Matthew Etherington (hamstring) nearing a return date and new signing Jamie Ness likely to miss again with a minor groin strain.
Both sides are undefeated from three matches, with City fourth with seven points and Stoke 10th with three draws.