Saturday, April 4
Feb 22, 2020 at 3pm UK
StokeStoke City
CardiffCardiff City
Paterson (25' og.), Allen (72')
FT(HT: 1-0)

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

:Headline: Preview: Stoke City vs. Cardiff City - prediction, teams news, lineups: ID:390314: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews the Championship clash between Stoke City and Cardiff City on Saturday, with predictions, team news and lineups.

Stoke City welcome Cardiff City to the bet365 Stadium on Saturday in a crucial meeting at both ends of the Championship table.

The Potters have seen early strong form under Michael O'Neill abandon them in recent weeks, while Cardiff have moved to within three points of the playoff places.

Match preview

Stoke have struggled in recent weeks after an impressive resurgence under O'Neill and must now regroup as they look to steer themselves away from relegation.

With three losses in their last four, Stoke's defence has begun to leak and with James McClean picking up a serious injury, they have lost a key attacking component too.

The Potters home form has been good of late, with just one defeat in their last six, but with 11 goals conceded in their last four matches the addition of centre-back James Chester from Aston Villa has not yet had the desired impact.

Stoke came out on the wrong side in the reverse fixture following a Leandro Bacuna winner and will be aware that another defeat could see them back in the relegation zone if results elsewhere go against them.

In direct contrast to Stoke, Cardiff have been in excellent form of late and have not tasted defeat in the league since New Year's Day.

Neil Harris's side are now just a win away from climbing back into the playoffs and with three wins in their last five, they will travel to Staffordshire with confidence.

Cardiff's away form had been an Achilles' heel so far this season, but with three wins from their last five on the road, Harris seems to have found a way to pick up victories.

However, such is the close nature of the Championship, a defeat in the Potteries could leave the Bluebirds as low as 11th in the league table.

Stoke City Championship form: WWLWLL

Cardiff City Championship form: DWDWWD
Cardiff City form (all competitions): WDLWWD

Team News

Cardiff will liely be without Joe Ralls, Lee Peltier and Matthew Connolly, with all three being assessed day to day ahead of the weekend.

None of them started against Wigan Athletic last time out, but could push for recalls if fit after a disappointing draw.

Long-term absentees Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Isaac Vassell are still a way away from a return.

McClean is Stoke's main absence, with the winger out for at least a month because of a knee injury.

Thibaud Verlinden has been ruled out for the season, while Stephen Ward and Ryan Shawcross are also some way off a return.

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Butland; Smith, Batth, Chester, Martins-Indi; Clucas, Allen, Powell; Ince, Campbell, Thompson

Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Smithies; Richards, Morrison, Nelson, Bennett; Vaulks, Pack; Adomah, Tomlin, Murphy; Paterson

We say: Stoke City 2-1 Cardiff City

Stoke have seen their form dip in recent weeks, but they remain a force at the bet365 Stadium under O'Neill. Cardiff have been in good form of late, but Stoke could sneak a valuable win in their fight against relegation.

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last updated article - 2020-02-23 10:37:21:
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