Stoke need to improve dramatically on last weeks performance, if they expect the fans to get behind them
The bet365 Stadium opens its doors once again to host Championship football as Stoke City’s 2022/23 home league campaign starts.
Stoke have to improve dramatically from the dour performance which saw Millwall ease to a 2-0 win over the Potters last weekend.
The scoreline flattered Stoke some what with Millwall controlling the game from start to finish, if not for Joe Bursik in goal Stoke could of been looking at an even more embarrassing score, to go with the performance.
Blackpool visit ST4 having been hit with a number of injuries that could impact their performance levels reached in the 1-0 win over Reading on the opening day of the season but one of those injuries is Richard Keogh.
How have we faired in previous meetings.
Todays fixture will be the 75th meeting between the two sides
Stoke wins 31
Blackpool wins 23
The last meeting
The last meeting between Stoke & Blackpool was at the beginning of March. The game was at the bet365 stadium and saw 15th placed Stoke come up against 14th placed Blackpool.
The seasides started the game on top & dominated the first 45 mins with young Josh Bowler causing numerous problems for the Stoke back line. Somehow it was 0-0 at half time, Stoke made a few chances in the second half, the injury to Nick Powell changed our approach and the Potters started to dominate without scoring. 5 mins before the final whistle the impressive Josh Bowler hit Stoke with the Sucker punch giving Blackpool the lead. The game ended 1-0 to Blackpool
Who’s the threat
Blackpools Josh Bowler is their main threat, the 23 year old left footed midfielder loves to cut in from the right wing and let fly. He’ll probably be the one that tests Joe Bursik the most on Saturday
I know pre season friendlies don’t mean much but they at least can install a winning mentality into the squad. Stoke didn’t seem to install anything bar a bit of running about during preseason. Stoke only won one game against Cork, while Blackpool beat Salford & Southport.
Millwall 2-0 Stoke
Blackpool 1-0 Reading
How could Stoke set up for the game.
Micheal O’Neill will probably make 4 or 5 changes from the side that lost to Millwall, how much to to necessity is anyones guess, he just loves to make a change or three. One player that is a doubt due to injury is Ben Wilmot who picked up a groin strain against Millwall. I’d be very surprised if Smallbone doesn’t start in place of Sam Clucas, a name many didn’t expect to see at 14:00 on July 31st.
What is your score Prediction?