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May 7, 2022 at 12.30pm UK at bet365 Stadium
1 - 1
Clucas (43')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Gyokeres (14')
(62'), Hyam (89')

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

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

Stoke City and Coventry City will square off at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday afternoon with the aim of securing the win which could give them a top-10 finish in the Championship standings.

Just two points separate the teams, with Coventry in 11th spot and Stoke in 13th place, but both clubs end the campaign feeling like they have missed an opportunity to compete for promotion.

Match preview

Michael O'Neill and his Stoke squad would have naturally had high hopes of promotion this season, and it appeared a possibility at one stage as the Potters lingered around the playoffs.

However, one win in 12 matches soon after the turn of the year ultimately ended their ambitions, and there will be those that are surprised that O'Neill has not been replaced in the dugout.

To the Northern Irishman's credit, he has recently delivered 15 points from a possible 24, a run which has featured five victories, but it remains to be seen whether that will be enough to keep him in a job.

Not only do Stoke sit all the way down in 13th position, heading into the final day of the campaign 11 points adrift of sixth-placed Luton Town is the damning statistic.

Losing eight home games this season has played a damaging part in Stoke's season, but they have least prevailed in three of their last four outings at the bet365 Stadium.

There would have been a time in their development under Mark Robins when Coventry would have been more than satisfied with finishing in the mid-table positions.

That is no longer the case with the Sky Blues still sitting in 11th spot despite winning just twice in nine games, a run which has prevented them from making a stronger challenge for the playoffs.

In Coventry's defence, they have endured a testing run-in, although expectations were inevitably heightened when they defeated Fulham as recently as April 10.

When Robins evaluates 2021-22, pride and encouragement will be the overriding emotion, but there will be a nagging feeling that Coventry could have been travelling to Staffordshire with promotion still a possibility.

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

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

Team News

While O'Neill is not in a position where he can name an experimental Stoke XI, changes will be made on the back of last week's defeat at the Riverside Stadium.

Although the backline could stay the same, Nick Powell should be restored to an attacking-midfield role with Steven Fletcher coming back into the attack.

Ben Wilmot and Josh Maja may be considered for selection if they are available to overcome the injury issues which kept them out last weekend.

Robins may take the opportunity to freshen up his Coventry side with Fabio Tavares potentially being handed his first Championship start of the season.

Chelsea loanee Ian Maatsen will also hope to feature on the left-hand side before he returns to his parent club, but Fankaty Dabo and Matt Godden will miss out through injury.

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Bursik; Harwood-Bellis, Jagielka, Forrester; Smith, Powell, Baker, Allen, Tymon; Brown, Fletcher

Coventry City possible starting lineup:
Wilson; Rose, McFadzean, Hyam; Kane, Allen, Hamer, Maatsen; Tavares, O'Hare; Gyokeres

We say: Stoke City 2-1 Coventry City

With both teams having the chance to play with relative freedom in this fixture, an entertaining contest could be in store. Although Coventry will keep things competitive throughout the 90 minutes, we are backing Stoke to post a win which may keep O'Neill in a job.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data

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