Former Stoke City captain Clive Clarke says Joe Allen would be a big miss against Sunderland

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Ex-Stoke City midfielder Clive Clarke says Joe Allen will be a big miss if he fails to win his fitness battle ahead of Saturday’s home game against Sunderland.

Allen limped off for with a hamstring injury whilst playing for Wales last Thursday in Austria and missed out on Sunday’s game against Georgia.

“I think Allen would be a massive miss,” Clarke explained.

“He’s made a big impact so far and everything seems to be going through him. The team aren’t doing particularly well but he managed to nick them a point at Manchester United.”

The 36-year-old thinks the Sunderland clash will go far in deciding Stoke’s fate this season, and they need to start getting some points on the board sooner rather than later.

“It’s now or never for Stoke,” added Clarke.

“They need to start putting a run together between now and Christmas otherwise they go into the new year in a massive relegation battle and it is always hard to pull away once you are down there.

“I think Stoke have a lot more quality in their squad than Sunderland but in Jermaine Defoe they have a goalscorer and if you have a goalscorer and you can sort yourself out at the back you can tend to put a bit of a run together.

“That’s part of Stoke’s problem, they don’t have a goalscorer at the moment. It won’t be an easy game. It never is in the Premier League but it is one they should be going in and looking to get three points from.”

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