Coming out of a midweek win against Wigan, Stoke City head into Saturday’s match against Birmingham City sitting at 17th on the table with 22 points. That puts The Potters at only three points above the relegation zone. But at the same time, Stoke City still sit just six points out of a top ten spot on the table.
As for Birmingham City, they also sit in the middle of the log jam on the Championship table right now. The Blues sit just two points ahead of The Potters with 24 points at 13th on the table.
Stoke City on Saturday will be looking to buck a trend that has given the team issues this season – coming away with points at home. Going into Saturday’s match, Stoke City are second to last in the Championship with only 8 points from home matches this season.
Stoke City vs. Birmingham City Prediction
Saturday’s match for Stoke City against The Blues could prove to be a difficult test for The Potters. Birmingham City head into Bet365 Stadium at first in the Championship when it comes to goals conceded at 15.
The xGA (expected goals against data) does paint some regression for The Blues though as their xGA on the season sits at 20.9. Either way, Stoke City could find it difficult to get their attack going on Saturday.
A big reason why Birmingham City are so stingy defensively is their midfield play and backline talent. In midfield, Manchester United loanee Hannibal has helped The Blues defensive work rate this season, along with taking away space tactically from opponents.
Then on their backline, Arsenal loanee Austin Trusty has helped boost The Blues talent in the back. All those factors together have led to Birmingham being a stout defensive side.
For Stoke City, it’ll be about finding ways to break through all of that above in possession. Which could come down to being patient in their build-up, being accurate with their passes through midfield, and possibly launching accurate crosses into the 18-yard box if needed.
Bottomline, Saturday’s match will come down to can Stoke City be good enough in possession? Based on their play recently, we’ll say yes and no to that question. Stoke City could find themselves stuck at times in attack. But we’ll also say The Potters do enough to scratch across at least a goal.
Prediction: Stoke City grab one point in a 1-1 draw.