x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Stoke City to Dubai for a mid-season training stop

Stoke City will be the third English Premier League club to use Dubai as a mid-season training base this week, joining Manchester United and West Ham United.

Peter Crouch, left, and his Stoke City teammates will be training in Dubai. Scott Heavey / Getty Images
Peter Crouch, left, and his Stoke City teammates will be training in Dubai. Scott Heavey / Getty Images

DUBAI // Stoke City will be the third English Premier League club to use Dubai as a mid-season training base this week, joining Manchester United and West Ham United.

The Midlands side’s first-team squad are expected to arrive today for a week-long camp at the Jebel Ali Centre of Excellence, and will use the trip to help in their drive to remain in the English top flight.

Stoke went into Wednesday night’s match against Swansea City ranked 14th in the table, only two points above the relegation zone. Mark Hughes, the Stoke manager, plans to use the break in fixtures – Stoke have been knocked out of the FA Cup and therefore have no commitment this weekend – to provide his players respite from the pressures of staying in the tightly congested Premier League.

“This is something Mark has wanted to do because he has done it before and found it beneficial, so we are obviously happy to support him,” Peter Coates, the Stoke chairman, told the English media.

“I’m sure they will be doing some training while they are out there and now is a good time to do so, with a 10-day break between matches here.”

Manchester United and West Ham also are trading one of England’s wettest winters on record for some dry and warm-weather training.

United, the reigning Premier League champions, will spend five days from today at the Sheikh Hamdan Complex, while West Ham are scheduled to use the football facilities at Dubai Sports City. Each side planned to jet out to Dubai once they had completed their Premier League matches Wednesday night.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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