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Oct 30, 2021 at 3pm UK
StokeStoke City
CardiffCardiff City
Brown (9'), Fletcher (16', 46')
Wilmot (62'), Souttar (64'), Surridge (83')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Colwill (66'), Harris (70'), Moore (71')
Nelson (39'), Bacuna (57'), Harris (89')

Preview: Stoke City vs. Cardiff City - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Stoke City vs. Cardiff City - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Stoke City and Cardiff City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Two Championship sides desperate to claim all three points will lock horns on Saturday afternoon as Stoke City welcome managerless Cardiff City to the bet365 Stadium.

Both sides head into Halloween weekend in frightening form, with the Potters losing each of their last four matches across all competitions, while the Bluebirds have suffered eight consecutive league defeats, conceding 19 goals in the process.

Match preview

After three successive league defeats to Sheffield United, Bournemouth and Millwall, Stoke City were eliminated from the EFL Cup on Wednesday night, losing 2-1 at home to Premier League outfit Brentford.

The Bees took a two-goal lead into half time, thanks to strikes from Sergi Canos and Ivan Toney, before former Brentford midfielder Romaine Sawyers pulled one back for the Potters in the 57th minute. However, the hosts were unable to mount a comeback to reach their second successive quarter-final in the competition.

Michael O'Neill's side now turn their attention back to the Championship, with Stoke one of seven teams to have accumulated 21 points from 14 games so far this season.

The Potters currently sit in ninth position, but are level on points with both Luton Town and Middlesbrough, who occupy the final two playoff places.

Stoke have failed to beat Cardiff in five of their last six meetings against them, including both encounters last season.

Despite their recent wobbles, O'Neill will be confident that his side can return to winning ways on Saturday as they seek to avoid four successive league defeats for the first time since the beginning of the 2019-20 campaign.

Cardiff City suffered their eighth successive league defeat when they were beaten 2-0 at home against Neil Warnock's Middlesbrough last weekend, a result which brought an end to Mick McCarthy's reign as manager.

Strikes either side of half time from Andraz Sporar and Martin Payero condemned the Bluebirds to yet another defeat, which sees them remain just one place and two points above the relegation zone.

Former Chelsea and Derby County coach Jody Morris is the current favourite with the bookmakers to become Cardiff's next manager, while Chris Wilder and Michael Flynn are also believed to be in the frame. As things stand, Steve Morison – another contender for the permanent vacancy – has been put in interim charge for this weekend's game.

Spirits are at an all time low right now for Cardiff, however Morison will be looking to provide a much-needed boost at the bet365 Stadium, where the Welsh outfit won 2-1 last season.

Defensive frailties have been a key factor in the Bluebirds' demise, with them conceding at least twice in four of their last five defeats. Form in front of goal also needs to improve after they failed to score in all four games this month.

A manager bounce is now required by Morison - and Saturday's encounter against another out-of-form Championship team could be the perfect chance for Cardiff to begin their revival.

Stoke City Championship form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L

Stoke City form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Cardiff City Championship form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

Stoke City will still be without key attacker Nick Powell, who could miss the rest of 2021 with a leg injury, while Morgan Fox is suffering with a hamstring problem.

O'Neill could make as many as eight changes to the starting lineup that faced Brentford, including a change between the sticks, which will likely see Adam Davies return at the expense of Josef Bursik.

Tommy Smith and James Chester could both be recalled in defence, replacing Demeaco Duhaney and Ben Wilmot, while James Brown and Sam Surridge are set to start up front ahead of Tyrese Campbell and Steven Fletcher.

As for Cardiff, they currently have a clean bill of health, so Morison has a fully fit squad to choose from for his first game in charge this weekend.

The 38-year-old may decide to bring experienced duo Kieffer Moore and Sean Morrison into the starting lineup, after they began on the bench against Middlesbrough, which could see James Collins and Mark McGuinness drop out as a result.

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Davies; Ostigard, Souttar, Chester; Smith, Sawyers, Allen, Tymon; Vrancic; Brown, Surridge

Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Smithies; Ng, Flint, Morrison, Brown; Vaulks, Pack, Colwill; Giles, Moore, Harris

We say: Stoke City 2-0 Cardiff City

Cardiff will be hoping that the interim appointment of Steve Morison can provided a much-needed boost as they seek to claim their first league win since September 12 and move clear of the relegation zone.

A closely-fought contest could be on the cards at the bet365 Stadium, however we cannot see the Bluebirds' worst run in over 47 years coming to an end this weekend as playoff hopefuls Stoke should have enough quality to seal all three points on home soil.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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