Stoke City: Walters set to reach another milestone
COULD tomorrow be the game when Jon Walters finally sees his astonishing run ended?
Walters goes into this weekend looking for his 80th consecutive Premier League start, more than any current outfield player in the country.
But was last week's substitution against West Ham a pointer to his prospects of starting against Newcastle tomorrow?
His cause is further undermined by memories of last season's trip to Tyneside when he missed a couple of expensive chances when the game was still alive before a 3-0 defeat.
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Then again, Walters has the energy, enthusiasm, dedication to duty and occasional eye for goal that should maintain his name on the team sheet when Tony Pulis announces his starting 11.
Pulis is nothing if not loyal to his most faithful players and Walters, whatever the view of some fans, remains high in the manager's estimation.
So stand by for league start number 80 to draw level with Howard Kendall and Peter Fox on our table of most successive league starts in the history of Stoke City.
The list was assiduously compiled by The Sentinel statistician Peter Smith and shows that Walters needs another 43 starts to beat the club record of one-time Stoke and England full-back Tony Allen.
MOST SUCCESSIVE LEAGUE STARTS FOR STOKE
121: Tony Allen (1957-69)
118: Arthur Turner (1931-38)
110: Larus Sigurdsson (1994-99)
108: Steve Simonsen (2004-10)
105: Tom Holford (1898-05)
101: Frank Bowyer (1948-60)
101: Bob McGrory (1921-35)
99: Peter Shilton (1974-77)
99: George Baddeley (1901-08)
94: Alan Hudson (1974-76, 1984-85)
93: Bill Asprey (1954-65)
92: Frank Soo (1933-39)
91: Mark Stein (1991-93, 1997)
90: Harry Burrows (1965-73)
90: Johnny King (1953-61)
88: Alan Dodd (1972-85)
88: George Clarke (1919-24)
85: Davy Brodie (1889-1897)
83: Mike Pejic (1969-77)
82: Paul Bracewell (1980-83)
82: Eric Skeels (1960-76)
82: Don Ratcliffe (1954-63)
81: Tony Ford (1986-89)
80: Peter Fox (1978-93)
80: Howard Kendall (1977-79)
79: JON WALTERS (2010-)
77: Norman Lewis (1929-35)
76: Darel Russell (2003-07)
76: Harry Sellars (1924-35)