Stoke City starting XI prediction vs Brentford

Stoke City starting XI prediction vs Brentford

Stoke will be looking to get back in the win column tomorrow when they square off against second-place Brentford. With a few injuries to consider as well as an upcoming tough midweek match against Swansea, how will Micheal O’Neill field his starting 11?

Stoke City Team News & Injuries

Long-term injuries – Morgan Fox, Nathan Collins, Tyrese Campbell.

Doubtful for tomorrow is also Rabbi Matondo, Sam Clucas, and James McClean who all could be available as early as next week.

The often banged-up Steven Fletcher was an early sub mid-week so we’ll see if O’Neill gives another start to the veteran attacker or opts to give some minutes to Jacob Brown or Sam Vokes and let Fletcher rest for a tough Swansea matchup.

For Brentford, they should be able to see Ivan Toney start after a mid-week rest. Rico Henry is still out for the Bees, and Josh Dasilva will be available, but unlikely to start.

Formation: 4-3-3

This is really a toss-up. I wouldn’t be surprised with 5 at the back for Saturday, but a 4-3-3 is likely given that Stoke haven’t started a match with 5 at the back since mid January.

Goalkeeper: Angus Gunn

Gunn, who is fresh off signing a loan extension at Stoke City will likely make another start for the Potters. Though he has not really been at fault for any recent Stoke losses, he has yet to make a statement game for the club in similar ways that Adam Davies had done last season and earlier in the 2020/21 season.

Defense:

Smith – Souttar – Chester – Norrington-Davies

One change from mid-week in that James Chester comes in for Danny Batth. Hoping to see Tommy Smith continue a positive run of form.

Midfield:

Allen – Thompson – Cousins

This is probably unlikely, but would be the best option for Stoke City on Saturday. Bringing in Cousins to sit deep and then letting Allen and Thompson continue to work together has all the ingredients for a successful midfield. O’Neill has shown preference to Mikel though, so seeing Mikel – Allen – Thompson is very likely.

Forwards:

Tymon – Powell – Brown

Here we see Fletcher not getting a start due to injury/rest and Nick Powell earning a shot at a central attacking role. Brown and Tymon will each get additional starts. Another option to look out for would be Powell – Brown – Clarke though O’Neil hasn’t started Clarke since his early sub against Norwich on 2/13. Of course, this could all be changed if Fletcher is fit, but an early midweek sub for Fletcher against Barnsley and a tough match against Swansea in a few days might limit his availability.