Mark Hughes has been handed a key selection boost ahead of Stoke's Capital One Cup semi-final first leg against Liverpool on Tuesday 5 January, with defender Geoff Cameron now available for the visit of Jurgen Klopp's side.

The United States international was initially suspended after receiving a straight red card from referee Lee Mason following an altercation with Claudio Yacob during the 82nd minute of a 2-1 defeat at West Brom on 2 January.

The sending off, which occurred when Cameron appeared to aim a left-handed push to the back of Yacob's head after a late bump from the midfielder, came shortly after substitute Jonathan Walters looked to have earned the visitors a point by cancelling out Stephane Sessegnon's second-half opener. Reduced to 10 men, Stoke went on to lose the contest courtesy of a scrambled stoppage-time winner from Jonny Evans.

The Potters subsequently revealed their intention to appeal against the three-match suspension and although Hughes has almost a fully-fit squad to choose from for the visit of Liverpool, he admitted that the uncertainty over Cameron's availability was occupying his thoughts.

"We have a clean bill of health," he was quoted as saying by the club's official Twitter account at a pre-match press conference. "Everyone bar Shay Given is available for this game."

On Cameron, who has made 23 appearances for Stoke so far this term, he added: "We will have an indication by this evening whether we will have Geoff Cameron available. It hinders my thinking for now."


The Football Association (FA) have now outlined the result of Cameron's appeal for wrongful dismissal, confirming that the former Houston Dynamo man has had his ban withdrawn with immediate effect. A short statement from the governing body states that Mason made an "obvious error" in dismissing him for violent conduct and the 30-year-old will also be able to play in subsequent fixtures against Doncaster and Norwich.

Another crucial point addressed by Hughes in the build-up to the cup tie concerned the future of Bojan. The former Barcelona stalwart has impressed of late as part of a fluid attacking line-up with Marko Arnautovic, Ibrahim Afellay and Xherdan Shaqiri, but rumours over a possible departure from the Britannia Stadium began circulating over the weekend as reports suggested that his current contract contains a buy-out clause of just £10m ($14.6m).

Hughes quickly dimissed the notion of any such clause, however. He said: "There's a lot of speculation on Bojan. There's a lot of misinformation about and there is no clause in his contract. I take transfer speculation with a pinch of salt. I don't know where the stories come from and a lot come with no substance."