Fantasy Football Focus 2014/15: Stoke City

With the new Premier League season less than a week away, it's time to assess your fantasy football options. Today's focus will be on Stoke City.

The Potters ended last season in ninth place in the Premier League, but grew as a force as the campaign progressed and ended the season by losing just two of their last 11 games.

Manager Mark Hughes has improved the squad by adding Phil Bardsley, Steve Sidwell, Bojan and Mame Biram Diouf, with the latter two both exciting fantasy football prospects.

Stoke were excellent defensively at home last season, conceding just 17 goals, and picked up seven clean sheets at the Britannia Stadium, although they only kept two on their travels and if investment is placed in the Potters backline, it should mainly be used for home matches.

Where should you be looking from fantasy football perspective?

Budget options:

DEF - Geoff Cameron - The versatile American defender started in all but one Premier League game for Stoke last season and was impressive for the USA at the World Cup this summer too. He comes in at just 4.5 and will hope to keep his place at right-back despite the arrival of Bardsley. Cameron can also play in the centre of defence as well as in midfield and should be considered as a very cheap option that will score points.

MID - Steven N'Zonzi - The Frenchman comes in at 5.0 and will likely be a mainstay in Hughes's side again after making 36 appearances last time out. He scored two goals and picked up one assist last season and is a cheap way into the Stoke midfield. However, his defensive role will not guarantee bundles of points.

Worth a gamble:

DEF - Ryan Shawcross - The dominant centre-back is always worth considering because of his defensive capabilities and goalscoring threat from set-pieces. He missed just one game last year and scored just one goal, but will be worth serious consideration at just 5.5, especially if used for Stoke's home games.

MID - Marko Arnautovic - Arnautovic was excellent last season, and grew as the campaign went on. He ended the term with four goals and seven assists and will be a key figure in the Potters' attack one more this season. The Austrian was predominantly played on the left and he will probably stay out wide but if he can continue where he left off, he will be worth investing in at just 6.5.

FOR - Bojan - The former Barcelona forward has arrived at Stoke in what is a surprise move, but one that will excite supporters and fantasy fans alike. He has already netted three times in pre-season and has been used just behind Diouf in attack. The 23-year-old was at Ajax last year and scored four goals with three assists in 24 appearances, but will surely build on those numbers in the Premier League this season. He could be incredible value at just 5.5 and is worth investing in to start with at least.

FOR - Mame Biram Diouf - Another new arrival to boost Stoke's goal returns is the former Manchester United striker Diouf, and he could be worth investing in as he returns to the Premier League following two years with Hannover in Germany. He scored in Saturday's final pre-season game against Freiburg and will likely play ahead of Bojan as the lone forward. He scored eight goals with three assists in 19 appearances last year and comes in at just 6.5.

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