Tommy Smith will most likely replace Nathan Collins for Stoke City
With Nathan Collins now expected to be out for some time, Tommy Smith will likely see an extended run with the first team. Smith’s last start for Stoke was a January 2nd loss to Bournemouth. Before being overtaken by the play of Nathan Collins, Smith was a mainstay in the Stoke starting squad. Throughout most of the first half of the season Smith was a leader in minutes played for the club.
Going forward, having Smith in for Collins will not be a huge gap in talent at right-back, so Stoke fans shouldn’t be too worried. Losing Collins will surely leave Stoke with a less physical back line, but what Stoke lose in physicality, they will gain in other areas, specifically crossing ability. Smith had always been a willing player to get balls into the box and Stoke should expect nothing less from Smith on Tuesday. Like any player returning after a long time away from the starting squad, Stoke fans should be looking for Smith to put in a solid 90 minutes and hope he get acclimated quickly. If Smith does get the start, I’d expect Sheffield Wednesday to go after him, making him prove his place.