Tuesday against Rotherham was a disappointing result for Stoke City because they should have performed better on two levels. One, Rotherham was behind Stoke City on the table at the time. And two, The Potters had the at-home advantage. Well the good news is, Stoke City get another chance Saturday to make things right at home against Coventry City, who is a team that is also behind them on the table.
Coventry heads to Bet365 Stadium on Saturday sitting in relegation position at 23rd on the table with 13 points. However, The Sky Blues have been in better form as of late. In their last five matches, Coventry have won three, drawn two, and lost one match.
As for Stoke City, they go into Saturday’s match against Coventry sitting at 16th on the table with 19 points. The Potters in their last five matches are 2-2-2.
The disappointing record accompanying Stoke City this season is their home results. At home this season Stoke City have lost three matches, drawn two matches, and only won two matches. The team also has a -2 goal differential at home to accompany those results.
How will Stoke City line up against Coventry?
Stoke City Predicted Formation: 3-4-1-2
Alex Neil has mostly chosen out of possession for the club to sit in a 3-4-1-2 over the past handful of matches. That same 3-4-1-2 formation often changes into a 3-5-2 or even a 5-3-2/5-2-3 out of possession when needed defensively.
In possession, Stoke City have attacked teams in that same 3-4-1-2, but oftentimes The Potters end up being lined up in more of a 3-4-3. Or in the case of last match, Stoke City were fully attacking, driven in possession with a 2-6-2 or 2-5-3.
Given Coventry’s lack of attacking success, one would expect Neil to again be aggressive with his formation and try to get numbers forward in the club’s build-up Saturday.
Starting XI Prediction: Bursik – Fox – Wilmot – Jagielka – Fosu – Sterling – Laurent – Baker – Delap – Campbell – Gayle
If Will Smallbone has recovered from an injury he’s picked up over the last week, he could be inserted back into the lineup. The same goes for Jordan Thompson who has been eased back into games after suffering a concussion.
The biggest change that could come to Stoke City’s starting XI could be in the form of Jacob Brown. Brown returned to action after an injury on Tuesday as a substitute. Eventually you could expect him to make his way back into a starting role.
However, we’ll say Neil plays it safe for now with one more match and brings Brown off the team’s bench against Coventry.
Stoke City vs. Coventry City Prediction:
On paper, Saturday’s matchup lines up as a winnable match for Stoke City. But then again, so did Tuesday’s match against Rotherham. Which is why there’s no such thing as easy matches in the Championship.
Having said that though, this still is a very kind matchup for Stoke City. Coventry on the season have been stingy defensively as they’ve only conceded 14 goals on the year. That’s good enough to be tied for third best in the Championship.
But in possession, just like Stoke’s opponent Preston was a couple of matches ago, Coventry have not been able to get things going with their attack. Coventry are second worst in the league with only 10 goals scored on the season so far.
That’s why this match for Stoke City will again like the Preston and even Rotherham match, be about being creative enough in attack to scratch across a goal or two – and then be able to not have any letdowns on the defensive end.
If Stoke can do that, they should be able to score more goals then they concede and take all three points Saturday. But like Tuesday, Stoke will have to be cautious of a letdown game.
Stoke City get back in the win column, 2-0 Stoke City even with Coventry in decent form.