Going into Saturday’s match against Sheffield United, The Potters at 18th on the table with 30 points, sit just four points above the relegation zone. To make matters even more dire and crucial on Saturday, Stoke City’s opponent Sheffield United currently are at second on the table.
Essentially to sum things up for Stoke City, they’re in a must collect points position while also getting set to visit the second best team in the Championship — All of that together is definitely less than ideal for The Potters.
However, if you were to point to any positive for Stoke City, it’s the fact that The Potters have played well against The Blades in recent years. Over the club’s past five meetings with Sheffield United, Stoke City have lost just once against The Blades.
This includes Stoke City’s meeting with Sheffield United late last year as The Potters emerged victorious 3-1.
Stoke City vs. Sheffield United Prediction
When Stoke City and Sheffield United last met in October, Stoke manager Alex Neil successfully deployed Tariq Fosu in a creative role on the left side of his formation — Because of those tactical changes The Potters were able to score three goals and succeed against The Blades.
Since then though, quite a bit has changed for Stoke City. One of those things changing has been that Tariq Fosu has received almost no minutes as of late. Plus, another factor that is different is the departure of Liam Delap this week.
So can Stoke City do something similar this time around still and find success against Sheffield United? The answer to that is a clouded one, as it all depends on how Stoke City line-up on Saturday.
As of late Stoke City have been uninventive in attack mostly. Outside of a couple of players such as Josh Tymon or Jacob Brown, The Potters have had some tough sledding when it comes to creating scoring opportunities.
And that’s where Saturday’s result conversation should start and end. Can The Potters be expected to create enough chances to keep up with The Blades attack this weekend? The answer for the most part lately has been no.
When you mix that attacking form with Stoke City’s defensive vulnerabilities, you then have a recipe for disaster possibly. Now to be fair though, The Potters did represent themselves admirably against Burnley just weeks ago.
So will Saturday’s result be a total disaster for Stoke City? It might or might not. It all depends on your definition of disaster at this point of the season for The Potters.
Overall Stoke City have shown they won’t get entirely ran over by better teams. So a total disaster prediction for Stoke City might be too harsh. But nonetheless on Saturday The Potters are behind the eight ball heavily, and will have a tough time finding much success if their form remains the same.
Final prediction: Sheffield United win 2-0.