Stoke City vs Barnsley preview: 3 players to watch
Stoke City will square off against Barnsley on Wednesday evening as they look to make it 3 wins in a row and move closer to a playoff spot. Stoke are currently in ninth place with 45 points, just four points behind sixth place Bournemouth. Barnsley are in tenth place, tied in points with Stoke, and also have a match in hand. Safe to say that a win here for Stoke would not only move them closer to Bournemouth, but would also help put some distance between some of the other Championship clubs vying for a playoff spot, specifically Barnsley, Cardiff, Middlesbrough, and Millwall.
Earlier in the season, the two sides played to a 2-2 draw as we saw four goals in the first fifty minutes followed by a Nathan Collins red card in the 60′. Stoke did well to hold of for a draw. With both clubs now feeling the pressure to secure points to stay in playoff contention, we should expect an entertaining mid-week match.
How to watch Stoke City vs Barnsley
Start time: Wednesday, February 24th at 7pm GMT
Location: Oakwell Stadium, Barnsley
How to watch on TV: SkySports Red Button for live TV. Stoke City fans can also stream on Stoke City+ live.
Stoke City: L-D-D-W-W (+1 goal differential)
Barnsley: D-D-W-W-W (+3 goal differential)
Stoke key players vs Barnsley #1 Nick Powell
On the season, Powell has 10 goals and 2 assists in the Championship. His ten goals is tied for 6th in the league. For Stoke, he’s been nothing short of fantastic this year and his form of late probably has him at the top of Michael O’Neill’s sheet. It’s no secret that the link-up play between Powell and Fletcher have caused problems, so Stoke fans should expect to see the combo featured again on Wednesday and Barnsley.
As always, it is unclear if Powell will be in a number 10 role or wide left. Stoke have the flexibility to play both systems though Powell looks better as a number 10. Look for Powell to be the feature of Stoke’s attacking play again on Wednesday – if he can dictate play again Stoke have a good chance at securing three points.