Stoke City starting XI vs Barnsley prediction

Stoke City starting XI vs Barnsley prediction

Stoke City head into their Wednesday matchup against Barnsley looking for three wins in a row and to move closer to a playoff spot. They will be up against an in-form Barnsley who is just below Stoke in the standings and also looking to edge closer to a playoff position.

Stoke City Team News

In Michael O’Neill’s pre-match press conference he revealed a few things that might impact how stoke line up on Wednesday. First, Stoke will still be without Nathan Collins and Morgan Fox. Collins is out for the season and Fox will miss extended time. Some new injuries to the club include Sam Clucas and James McClean who both picked up recent injuries. January loanee Rabbi Matondo is also out another week and will not be available.

In addition to injuries, O’Neill reiterated the strategy in playing Nick Powell wide left in a 4-3-3 or a number 10 role. When asked about rotating the squad that we saw against Luton on Saturday O’Neill echoed the importance, but also reminded us that the squad has seen some changes over the past week already, mainly with Jordan Thompson and Josh Tymon.

Predicted Formation: 4-3-3

O’Neill made a number of comments related to second chance play and Barnsley’s ability to pressure a back line. For this reason, I think we see three deeper midfielders to help out the back four and give them more outlets to relieve pressure.

Goalkeeper – Angus Gunn

O’Neill mentioned that Gunn was ahead of Davies in terms of level of play after returning from injury. That being said, we did see Davies replace Bursik on the bench on Saturday. We should probably expect the same on Tuesday and possibly a start for Davies in the near future.

Defense 

Smith – Chester – Souttar – Smith

Only predicted change from Saturday is a return of James Chester. He’s been out of the squad for a few matches and should be ready to make a return.

Midfield 

Allen – Mikel – Thompson

In this prediction we see John Obi Mikel come into the squad for this defensive presence and to help alleviate some of the press that Barnsley is known for. Thompson and Allen both earn another start.

Forwards

Powell – Fletcher – Clarke

With Matondo and McClean out, we are likely to see some combination of Powell/Clarke/Brown/Tymon here. If Stoke do run a 4-3-3 expect to see Powell out wide left and Clarke or Brown on the right.