Stoke City Vs Liverpool, Sat 10 Sep 2011

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Stoke boss Tony Pulis has declared himself "pleased as punch" with the club's new signings and is confident none of them will disrupt the sense of unity at the Britannia Stadium.

The Potters embarked on a late spending spree on transfer deadline day to bring in Wilson Palacios, Peter Crouch and Cameron Jerome.

The trio's arrival follow those of free agents Jonathan Woodgate and Matthew Upson earlier in the summer.

And ahead of the clash with Liverpool, Pulis is feeling satisfied with his recruitment and points to the way Woodgate and Upson have settled in at Stoke as evidence that big-name players will not rock the boat.

"We are delighted, absolutely pleased as punch to have done the business we have done," Pulis said.

"When you think we have signed five players for under #20million and you've got Woodgate, Upson, Palacios, Crouch and Jerome - for that price, I think it is fantastic business.

"We have brought big-name players in and I think the supporters deserve that.

"But the one thing we have been at this football club over the last five years is united as a group, from boardroom level through to the staff, the players and the terraces.

"I don't think there is a better example anywhere up and down the country of a club that has been as united as we have.

"You speak to the players and ask them about what Upson and Woodgate have been like - they have been here for four or five weeks and have been absolutely fantastic.

"You wouldn't believe the pedigree that they have got - they have mixed in really well and have become part of the group.

"We've done our homework on Palacios, Crouch and Jerome and we have brought three players in who will all work as hard as how our gang work, as well as hopefully bringing that little bit more quality."

Crouch is set to make his Potters debut against his former side, while Pulis will run the rule over Palacios and Jerome to see if they are fit enough for their first run-outs.

Marc Wilson and Rory Delap (both hamstring) will also be assessed ahead of kick-off.

Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish will focus only on the positives when it comes to new striker Craig Bellamy.

The 32-year-old became the oldest player signed by the Reds boss since his return to the club in January when he joined, also for a second spell, on transfer deadline day.

Age not withstanding, there are a number of issues which surround the Wales international, who is in the twilight of what has been a chequered career.

He became a virtual outcast at Manchester City after falling out with manager Roberto Mancini, spending last season on loan at Cardiff before negotiating a deal to have the final year of his contract paid off in order to rejoin the Reds.

It was not the first time the forward, who gained a reputation for being something of a 'hot head', has clashed with authority.

He fell out with Graeme Souness at Newcastle, got into numerous scrapes on and off the field and in his first spell at Liverpool, the club he supported as a boy, and clashed with team-mate John Arne Riise in an incident involving a golf club.

Bellamy's departure after just 12 months came following disagreements with then boss Rafael Benitez but Dalglish sees only good things in the player, who accepted a pay cut to return.

"He's really enthusiastic at being back and made a lot of sacrifices to come back, financially and otherwise, because of what the club means to him," said the Scot.

"We're delighted to have people with that attitude here.

"I don't know why I've never signed him before in my managerial career.

"Maybe I wasn't working when he was available. He's always been somebody that has impressed me.

"He's got pace, quality, he loves this club - which is very important - and he'll be a fantastic asset for us."

On Bellamy's supposed fiery character Dalglish joked: "I don't think his temperament will be a problem - he's given up golf!"

Bellamy is set to be named on the bench for Liverpool's match at Stoke, where they have not won in three attempts since the Potters' return to the top flight.

Fellow new signing Sebastian Coates, 20, may have to wait for his chance as he settles in following his transfer from Uruguayan club Nacional.

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Jonathan Woodgate
Matthew Upson
Craig Bellamy
Premier League
Peter Crouch
Marc Wilson
Rory Delap
Kenny Dalglish
Cameron Jerome
John Arne Riise
Wilson Palacios

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