Sky Sports pundit David Prutton has his say on tonight’s game versus Nottingham Forest
Though Michael O’Neill’s men probably haven’t won as many games as they’d have imagined, they’ve been almost unbeatable over the last month, with seven clean sheets from the last eight.
Such a strong defence may hamper a Forest side who are starting to put their unexpected slide towards the relegation zone behind them, but have found goals very hard to come by, for the most part, this season. I’m going for an engaging, yet low-scoring, draw.
Match Preview: Stoke City versus Nottingham Forest
Forest just haven’t recovered from the disappointment of their last fixture versus Stoke. Forest were 95% certain to finish inside the playoff places, Even a loss to Stoke on the last game of the season would of meant they kept their spot, as long as their wasn’t a huge swing in the goal difference between them and Swansea.
The Gods were not on Forest’s side as Stoke smashed Forest 4-1 with Swansea winning by the same score line. This swing meant Forest missed out on the play offs on goal difference.
They have since sacked the said manager after an appalling start to this season, bringing in Chris Hughton, Nothing has changed much with that change, Forest are still struggling, sitting in 20th spot in the league having only won 4 games all season, more to point only 1 game away from the City ground.
Forest are the worst travellers in the league picking up just 5 points from 30, scoring just 4 times.
Current League table
How do we usually fair versus Forest
Stoke have faced Forest 108 times in the past:
Stoke Wins 32 Draws 31 Forest Wins 45
The last time we played Forest at the bet365 Stadium
The last time Forest visited the bet365 stadium Stoke produced a first half performance that should of won the game, unfortunately our early lead was cancelled out before half time and then were hit with a sucker punch two minutes after the restart. Stoke had 23 shots that day but as what’s common with Stoke could get a good proportion on target. Stoke did score another late on in the game, but it wasn’t enough as Jack Butland had already conceded a third at that point. The game ended Stoke 2-3 Forest.
Stoke travel to Coventry for no reason whatsoever as the game is belong played at Birmingham City’s St Andrew’s. Coventry have had more time to recover from the last game as Stoke played in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday. Stoke will see the return of Joe Bursik in goal, though Andy Lonergan played well & really couldn’t do anything with the goals he conceded.
How do we usually fair versus Coventry
Stoke have faced Coventry 64 times in the past:
Stoke Wins 29 Draws 8 Coventry Wins 27
The last time we played Coventry away
The last time we played Coventry was in the FA Cup, the game really signalled the end of Mark Hughes’s tenor as Stoke city managers as Stoke lost 2-1. Don’t forget at the time in 2018 Stoke were a Premier League side & Coventry were in league 2. Almost 3 years later we know face each other in the same league.
Stoke face Tottenham Hotspur in the Carabao cup quarter final. This will be the third Premier League side we have face this season in the competition having dispatched Wolves & Villa without conceding a goal. In fact Stoke have yet to concede a goal within the 90mins in this year’s competition, only Arsenal that can say that of those left in.
Stoke have lots of injury worries going into the fixture the main one being in the goalkeeping department, not ideal when your facing the possibility of Son & Kane. Joe Bursik is cuptied having played in the competition for Doncaster, while Davies & Gunn are still out injured. Emergency loan keeper Lonergan has just received from a bout of the flu so O’Neill could entrust the gloves to U18’s Blondy Nna Noukeu for his professional debut.
How do we usually fair versus Tottenham
Stoke have faced Tottenham 94 times in the past:
Stoke Wins 26 Draws 20 Tottenham Wins 48
In the last ten meetings between the sides Stoke have only won 2 games and have lost the last 5 consecutive games versus Spurs. Though the last time we played Spurs in the league cup Stoke progressed, beating Tottenham 7-6 on penalties after the game ended 0-0. That game was back in 2011
The last time we played Spurs at The bet365 Stadium
Stoke last faced Tottenham while still in the Premier League, the game ended with Spurs winning 2-1. Harry Kane obviously scored the winner in the 63 minute just 6 minutes after Mame Diouf had got the Potters back level.
Route to the Quarter Finals
(R1) Stoke 0-0 Blackpool (5-4 on pens)
(R2) Wolves 0-1 Stoke
(R3) Stoke 1-0 Gillingham
(R4) Villa 0-1 Stoke
(R1) Spurs bye
(R2) Spurs bye
(R3) Leyton Orient PvP Spurs (Spurs given the win due to game abandoned)
(R4) Spurs 1-1 Chelsea (6-5 on pens)
Safe to say Stoke have had the tougher route to the quarter final stage
What do you expect the outcome will be versus Tottenham Hotspur?
Stoke are a side that have only conceded in one of their last 6 games face the tough task of keeping Blackburn a side who have failed to score in only one of their last nice game, from added to that stat.
What has Prutton said:
“Tyrese Campbell being out for potentially the rest of the season is such a blow for Stoke. It’s no real surprise that in the two games he’s missed so far they haven’t scored a goal.
Blackburn, however, aren’t struggling for goals in the slightest. Adam Armstrong is still pulling up trees, and he’s got Harvey Elliott in support. I’ll back Stoke to get amongst the goals, but Rovers to edge it.”
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