New signing Ryan Bennett, 21, was on the bench at Stoke for the first time after the defender finally completed his £3million move from Peterborough.
Spanish centre-back Dani Ayala, 21, is also back from injury.
And 28-year-old Whitbread said: "Dani and Benno are top young talent and will be around long after I retire.
"I'll watch them on TV. They have a good future. It's great to have competition."