Stoke City v Sunderland: Boss Mark Hughes hits out over Joe Allen’s fitness – but midfielder could still face the Black Cats

Giannelli Imbula could replace Joe Allen against Sunderland if the Welsh midfielder fails to recover from his hamstring problem in time

Giannelli Imbula could replace Joe Allen against Sunderland if the Welsh midfielder fails to recover from his hamstring problem in time

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Wales star Joe Allen could yet face Sunderland in tomorrow’s crucial bottom-of-the-table Premier League showdown.

Stoke’s former Liverpool midfielder is battling to overcome a hamstring injury which forced him to be substituted in Wales’ 2-2 World Cup draw in Austria last Thursday.

Subsequently, he missed Sunday’s clash with Georgia, but the 26-year-old is working hard to overcome the problem in time to aid the Potters’ bid for a first Premier League win of the season.

Boss Mark Hughes has accused Wales of “compromising” the player’s fitness.

He told stokecityfc.com: “We’re still checking on Joe, he hasn’t trained with the group yet.

“We’ve just got to be a little bit careful with him; unfortunately he probably did a little bit too much with the Welsh squad.

“We would have given him an extra day’s rest, but he trained with (them) and that’s probably compromised him a little bit so they have to be a little bit careful in that regard.

“We’re hopeful that he’s going to be okay and we’ll have to check on him tomorrow.”

If Allen fails to prove his fitness in time, Giannelli Imbula, Bojan and Charlie Adam are all potential replacements in Stoke’s midfield.

“When players go out of the team it’s an opportunity for others,” added Hughes.

“We’ve got a good squad so we’ve got plenty of options.”