REUTERS – Stoke City’s Marko Arnautovic loves the spotlight and the Austrian forward should feed off the attention to continue his goalscoring spree, manager Mark Hughes said ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash against West Bromwich Albion.
Arnautovic seems to have made a habit of scoring key goals for the Potters, four of his seven league goals have been match winners, including a last-minute goal in Monday’s 4-3 win over Everton and a stunning strike to down champions Chelsea on Nov. 7.
“Marko has been a big player for us and has always made an impact. Maybe he had quiet periods previously but he has added goals now,” Hughes told reporters on Thursday.
“He likes attention and you won’t get more of that than by scoring goals, which he has been doing on a regular basis for us this season.”
Stoke are on a high after impressive back-to-back wins over Manchester United and Everton but Hughes said he expected a very tight game against the Baggies.
“West Brom will arguably be more rigid than Manchester United and Everton were, so that may well affect my thinking when I name my starting line-up,” the former Manchester City manager said.
“Teams like United and Everton can tend to leave gaps when they move forward, whereas West Brom will probably keep things significantly tighter.
“It’s up to us to break through them though and we certainly have the quality of player capable of doing that.
“It will be a very difficult game for us and they will provide a different kind of challenge for us. Hopefully we can come through this one just as we have done the previous two matches.”
Stoke, who are 10th in the league, will look to avenge their demoralising home loss to 13th-placed West Brom earlier this season.
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)