Mark Hughes believes that the club will be without winger Xherdan Shaqiri

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes believes that the club will be without winger Xherdan Shaqiri due to a thigh pull. The former Inter Milan star may be set for a couple of weeks on the sidelines.

The blow comes at a time when the club has just started to find its feet in the league. Players like Ryan Shawcross have spoken with confidence about finishing in the Europa league spots. Stoke City have already qualified for this competition once in the history and to do it regularly would be great. However, they face strong competition from the likes of Southampton, Manchester United, and Liverpool.

As things stand right now, according to the CityCard Manchester website, only the top five will be able to think about European football. Two players have made a major difference to the style of football at the Britannia stadium. One has been Bojan Krkic, who spent much of the middle part of the season on the sidelines.

The second has been Switzerland international Shaqiri, who came to the club after two failed spells at big clubs like Bayern Munich and Inter Milan. However, he has been a revelation and has made a major difference to the club’s perception of the game.

He had to be withdrawn after 31 minutes in the 2-1 loss against Southampton. This is the second setback for the team after they could only manage a 1-1 draw with Chelsea last week.“We’ve got to check on Ryan Shawcross because I think he was struggling in the last five minutes of the game so hopefully that’s just a little bit of tiredness and that’s not significant, because obviously he’s only just come back, but we’ll have to check him come Monday.I thought he did okay, I thought he was fine,” continued the manager about the fitness of defender Ryan Shawcross.