Stoke City starting XI prediction vs Luton Town
Stoke City will be going into Saturday’s match against Nathan Jones’ Luton Town fresh off of a much needed mid-week win. The Potters are currently in ninth place in the Championship and seven points out of a playoff spot. Luton come into Saturday’s match in fifteenth place and with one win in their last five.
Stoke City Team News
Out for Stoke City on Saturday will be left-back Morgan Fox who suffered a hamstring injury during the week and will be out for some time. To fill the void at left-back, Rhys Norrington-Davies will be returning to the club and should slide in nicely as a replacement. Nathan Collins will still be out and is most likely out for the remainder of the season, as Michael O’Neill suggested in his pre-match interview. Collins will join Campbell on the list of season ending injuries for the club, unfortunate that two young players, both at peak performance in their careers had to go down, but they will be looking ahead to next season. Despite looking banged up on Tuesday, it looks as if Steven Fletcher will be fit for Saturday and earn another start.
Predicted Formation: 4-2-3-1
Micheal O’Neill hinted that using Powell in a number 10 role or out left in a 4-3-3 is dependent on their opponent. Given that Luton has just 2 goals in their last 5 Championship matches, I’d say just two deep midfielders is more likely.
Goalkeeper: Angus Gunn
No big changes here. Still waiting to hear more about Adam Davies and why he has not been featured, especially since of the three Stoke keepers – Gunn, Bursik, and Davies – only Bursik and Davies have long-term contracts with the club. He’s made appearances for the U-23’s and was without a doubt Stoke’s most valuable player early in the season. Stoke fans would welcome Davies back in the starting XI.
Smith – Souttar – Chester – Norrington-Davies
With injuries, Norrington-Davies and Smith will both see runs with the starting squad. While this is still a solid back line, Stoke are noticeably thinner on defense with recent injuries.
Allen – Thompson
Clarke – Powell – McClean
Other than Powell, not many midfield names are high up on team sheet selection, and O’Neill has many options. Seeing O’Neill not make any changes from the win on Tuesday would not be surprising, but I think we see Clarke come in again. Allen and Thomson could easily be replaced with Mikel and Cousins, as it’s clear a four man (Allen, Mikel, Thompson, Cousins) rotation is present. With two deep midfielders there is less of a role for Sam Clucas, so if we do see a 4-2-3-1 I’d be surprised to see him in the starting XI.
Forward – Steven Fletcher
Fletcher should be starting another match for the Potters and will be Stoke’s clear scoring threat. Link-up play will Powell is key, but also have two attacking wide players should help get Fletcher some more service.