Coming out of the World Cup break, Stoke City were hoping on Saturday to start off the second half of their season with a bang against Cardiff City. Instead, The Potters started out December with another lukewarm performance, as the team played to a 2-2 draw.
With one point in hand with a draw on Saturday, Stoke City now sit at 18th on the table with 26 points. That puts The Potters seven points out of sixth place on the table, but still only three points above relegation position.
Stoke City’s draw on Saturday also adds to a string of mediocre or bad performances at home this season — Stoke City after Saturday’s match have a total home record of three wins, three draws, and five losses at Bet365 Stadium.
That’s only good enough for the fourth worst home record in the Championship (12 points total from home matches this season). Next up, Stoke City will try their luck against Bristol City next Saturday.
Stoke City With Inconsistencies Out of the Break
Over the World Cup break, Stoke City had a lot of time to work on some of their inconsistencies from the first half of the season. Unfortunately for Stoke City though in game 1 of the second half of the season, a lot of things stayed the same. Those inconsistencies like they had in the first half of the season, spanned the club’s attack and defense on Saturday.
First with the team defensively, although Stoke City mostly held Cardiff City in check attempts wise, the team overall failed to fully defend the attempts they did give up — On the day Stoke City gave up eight attempts to Cardiff City— Five of those total attempts made it on target.
Because of those five attempts on target, Cardiff City were able to find the back of the net twice on Saturday. To make matters worse, one goal from Cardiff City came really early in the 6th minute, and one goal came late in the match with around 30 minutes to go.
Then in terms of the team’s attack, Stoke City ran the gamut of inconsistencies on Saturday. Early on in the match, after Liam Delap scored The Potters second goal to put the team up 2-1, it appeared the club might be heading for a three or four goal day.
But it wasn’t meant to be on Saturday as from there, Stoke City’s attack dried up. The Potters after those two goals were only able to put two more attempts on target from their eleven total attempts.
Again for Stoke City on Saturday, it was another case of major inconsistencies holding the team back.
Who Stood Out for Stoke City Against Cardiff City?
Liam Delap, turning it on:
Delap was Stoke City’s best attacking player by far on Saturday. After finishing the first half of the season on some high notes, Delap carried those over to Saturday against Cardiff City.
Delap in the 18th minute of the game was able to fire an attempt past Cardiff’s keeper Ryan Allsop, to give The Potters an early match lead. Delap would go on to finish the match with four total attempts and a 7.1 player rating per Sofascore.
After some early season woes, Delap appears to be turning on his full potential. If Delap can keep up his attacking production, Stoke City should continue to score more consistently in the second half of the season.
Tyrese Campbell, starting out quick:
Campbell, who has been known for starting out slow in games, but finishing strong, reversed his own trend on Saturday. With The Potters training 1-0 early in the match Campbell was able to put himself in good attacking position and tie the game 1-1 in the 11th minute of the match.
For the rest of the match, Campbell was somewhat quiet as he only managed one more attempt. But his early match goal was big in the grand scheme of the match.