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Championship | Gameweek 33
Feb 17, 2024 at 3pm UK
Bet365 Stadium

0 - 1

Thompson (8'), Baker (45')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Simms (51')
O'Hare (86')

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

Following a vitally-needed win in the fight for survival last time out, Stoke City will be looking to continue their upturn in form as Coventry City visit the bet365 Stadium on Saturday afternoon in the Championship.

The Potters battled hard to get the better of relegation rivals Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday night, while the Sky Blues managed a point at Plymouth Argyle on the same day.

Match preview

Although Stoke did not showcase the usual characteristics of a side managed by a forward-thinking Steven Schumacher last time out, Wednesday night will be regarded as a massive success by all of those of a Potters persuasion, as they ended a four-game losing run and collected their maiden victory at the bet365 Stadium since October.

Just before the referee sounded the half-time whistle, captain Wouter Burger netted his second goal of the league campaign to give his side a lead, and the second period saw QPR press hard for an equaliser in a relegation six-pointer, but they were unable to breach the net of Daniel Iversen.

Following a first win at their Staffordshire home in over four months - and the first at home since the dismissal of Alex Neil - Stoke have moved up to 19th in the Championship standings, meaning they are now six points ahead of Marti Cifuentes's R's in the race to retain a spot in the second tier.

The Potters will be aiming to secure back-to-back wins at the bet365 Stadium for the first time since a glorious five-day period at the end of October, when both Tony Mowbray's Sunderland and Daniel Farke's top-two chasing Leeds United returned home from Staffordshire empty-handed.

Last season's version of this fixture was a moment to forget for Stoke, who lost out by two goals to their Midlands rivals on October 22, 2022, when strikes from Jamie Allen and midfield maestro Gustavo Hamer secured a vital three points for a Sky Blues side who would end up sealing a top-six spot.

Coventry kept their top-six ambitions on track by sharing the spoils with newly-promoted Plymouth at Home Park on Wednesday night, but it appeared as if the Sky Blues were heading towards a rare league defeat as they approached the dying stages of the Devonshire clash.

Ian Foster's Green Army went ahead twice courtesy of strikes from leading marksman Morgan Whittaker and Mickel Miller, although Mark Robins's men were able to flex their powers of recovery on two occasions, with a second-half leveller from Ellis Simms and a 96th-minute equaliser via the foot of centre-back Liam Kitching.

After a stuttering start to the second-tier campaign following the loss of last season's playoff final, Viktor Gyokeres and the aforementioned Hamer, Coventry have established themselves as a major player in the division once, currently sitting in sixth, ahead of seventh-placed Norwich City, Hull City and Preston North End on goal difference.

Having been deployed as a right-hand man to towering Swede Gyokeres last term, veteran striker Matt Godden is struggling to have the same impact this season and missed a handful of clear-cut chances on Wednesday night, although the 32-year-old has still bagged six league goals.

Coventry's record of just two losses from their last 20 contests across the Championship and FA Cup leaves little room for Stoke City optimism this weekend, but those pair of defeats arrived on the road for the Sky Blues, who were bested at Preston and Ipswich Town.

Stoke City Championship form:

Coventry City Championship form:

Coventry City form (all competitions):

Team News

After keeping a rare clean sheet last time out, Stoke are expected to name a centre-back pairing of Michael Rose and Luke McNally once again.

This means that the more experienced Ben Wilmot will have to settle for a place on the bench, potentially alongside Tyrese Campbell and January arrival Million Manhoef.

Niall Ennis is becoming an important figure for the Potters at the focal point of their attack since his winter move from Blackburn Rovers, and the 24-year-old should start again on the weekend.

Coventry playmaker Callum O'Hare missed the midweek jaunt to Plymouth due to soreness and fatigue, but the former Aston Villa youngster will be available on Saturday.

A number of Sky Blues stars who were rested for the match at Argyle will return to the XI, including leading goalscorer Haji Wright and Tatsushiro Sakamoto.

Josh Eccles is set to make his way back into the midfield to partner January signing Victor Torp, possibly at the expense of Jamaica international Joel Latibeaudiere.

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Iversen; Hoever, McNally, Rose, Thompson; Cundle, Burger, Baker; Tchamadeu, Bae, Ennis

Coventry City possible starting lineup:
Collins; Van Ewijk, Thomas, Kitching, Bidwell; Eccles, Torp, Sakamoto, O'Hare, Simms; Wright

We say: Stoke City 1-2 Coventry City

Stoke produced a backs-to-the-wall performance to hold on for three points against QPR on Wednesday, but we feel that will be much tougher against an in-form Coventry side.

The Sky Blues will be boosted by a host of key men returning to the XI at the bet365 Stadium, so we believe that they should be able to earn maximum points.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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