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Aug 27, 2012

Pulis prepared for Di Canio test

Paulo di Canio has been given the highest of praise by his rival manager as he prepares to send his Swindon side into their Capital One Cup clash at Stoke on Tuesday night.

Two days after Arsene Wenger's much vilified appearance in the visitors' technical area, the Potteries is awaiting its first sight of the eccentric Italian on the same Britannia Stadium touchline.

And Stoke boss Tony Pulis, who has been known to be very much at odds with the Arsenal manager over recent seasons, has nothing but compliments for the man he is about to welcome next.

"He was a great player who has done well so far as a manager," Pulis said. "He is cutting his teeth and starting out on a journey with Swindon and I am sure he will one day wind up managing in the Premier League.

"It's a tough game for us and we will have to approach it in the right manner and show them as much respect as we would show anybody. Swindon are well organised. I saw their game against Brighton and, for all their attacking flair, they are very difficult to break down.

"It looks like he has put a little bit of the Italian steel defensively into them."

Last season's runaway League Two champions have started the season brightly with two wins and a draw from their three League games, with a Capital One Cup victory over Championship club Brighton along the way. They have yet to concede a goal after four matches.

Pulis admitted his side looked unbalanced without Matt Etherington on the left in Sunday's draw with Arsenal and is sure to ring the changes. But the winger is unlikely to have recovered in time for injury.

Summer capture Jamie Ness is one of those hoping to be drafted in for the first time.

"We have no idea what the side will be but we know Swindon are going to be on a high," said recent Stoke signing Michael Kightly. "It will be good to have their manager here. He's such a character."

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