Stoke City predicted starting XI vs Norwich

Stoke City predicted starting XI vs Norwich

Going into Saturday, Stoke have the ability to field one of their best lineups in quite some time. Michael O’Neill will have both Steven Fletcher and Nick Powell available. To go along with the pair, in form Jack Clarke will likely get another start and look to add creativity to a Stoke side that have struggled to find an offensive identity since losing Tyrese Campbell.

Team News 

Stoke’s squad will be relatively complete going into Saturday with the exception of Adam Davies who is still rehabbing a long-term injury and Rhys Norrington-Davies who is serving the second of a three match ban.

Stoke City Predicted Formation: 4-3-3

The only other way we might see O’Neill going is a 4-2-3-1. James McClean has struggled lately, so going with Powell as a wide attacker along with 3 midfielders might be appealing.

Goalkeeper

Angus Gunn will be in net for the Potters. Against a dangerous Norwich squad, Gunn should expect his busiest match since returning from injury.

Defense 

Collins – Souttar – Chester – Fox

No big surprises here. O’Neill has shown he likes to roll with a back four when he has the players to do it and that is surely the case this week. With Rhys Norrington-Davies still out with an injury Fox is still in the clear starter. Danny Batth and Tommy Smith will be likely subs.

Midfield 

Allen – Mikel – Clucas

Here is where Stoke might have the most to play around with. Midfield play of late has been less than stellar, with many fans looking to see Jordan Cousins in for John Obi Mikel. O’Neill has yet to show preference for Cousins to start when Mikel is fit. Cousins along with Jordan Thompson will be likely subs.

Forwards

Jack Clarke – Steven Fletcher – Nick Powell

Jack Clarke and Nick Powell will take up the wings here with Steven Fletcher down the middle. If this formation doesn’t seem to be working, I think Stoke would switch to a 4-2-3-1 with McClean or Matondo coming in on a wing and Powell moving to a number 10 role. Jacob Brown will also be a likely sub if Steven Fletcher continues to battle with fitness issues.