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Preview: Brentford vs. Stoke City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Brentford and Stoke City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Championship title contenders Brentford play host to Stoke City on Saturday afternoon having ended their three-match losing streak against Sheffield Wednesday in midweek.

Meanwhile, after defeat at Barnsley, the Potters head into this contest sitting four points adrift of the playoff places.


Match preview

Brentford manager Thomas Frank pictured on February 10, 2021© Reuters

Thomas Frank would have been mightily relieved to witness his side enjoy a 3-0 win over the Owls on Wednesday night, a rare occasion where Brentford have had a comfortable 90 minutes since the turn of the year.

However, the result must mark the start of a sustained run of improvement for the Bees, whose previous three-match losing streak has left them seven points adrift of leaders Norwich City.

Swansea City's two matches in hand only ups the stakes for Brentford, and they will feel that a fixture against an inconsistent Stoke outfit provides them with an opportunity to record maximum points for the second time in three days.

Ivan Toney's quick return from injury has been welcomed by Frank, with the club's top goalscorer coming through 24 minutes without a hitch in midweek.

Nevertheless, Frank is aware that he can ill-afford any more fitness setbacks with the forward, who could prove to be the difference between automatic promotion and the playoffs.

Barnsley's Michal Helik in action with Stoke City's Nick Powell in the Championship on February 24, 2021© Reuters

As far as Stoke are concerned, they will be hoping for a repeat performance after recording a 3-2 win in the reverse fixture back in October.

Although that result acted as the catalyst for Brentford's prolonged unbeaten run, it did not have the same effect on Stoke, who have failed to build on a promising start to the season.

Michael O'Neill would have undoubtedly taken six points from three games against Sheffield Wednesday, Luton Town and Barnsley had it been offered to him two weeks ago.

However, the setback in the most recent of those games has led to Stoke dropping into 10th position and coming under pressure from teams directly below them.

Brentford Championship form: WWLLLW

Stoke City Championship form: DDLWWL


Team News

Stoke City manager Michael O'Neill pictured in October 2020© Reuters

O'Neill may bring Jack Clarke and Sam Vokes back into the starting lineup after their outings from the substitutes' bench in midweek.

Joe Allen could come in for Jordan Thompson, with James Chester an option in defence if O'Neill rests either Harry Souttar or Danny Batth.

Toney is expected to be drafted back into the Brentford XI after his outing against Sheffield Wednesday in midweek.

Josh Dasilva should also be handed a recalled in midfield, but Mads Bech Sorensen is in line to deputise for the injured Rico Henry at left-back.

Brentford possible starting lineup:
Raya; Dalsgaard, Reid, Pinnock, Sorensen; Jensen, Janelt, Dasilva; Mbeumo, Toney, Canos

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Gunn; Smith, Souttar, Batth, Norrington-Davies; Mikel, Allen; Brown, Powell, Clarke; Vokes


SM words green background

We say: Brentford 3-1 Stoke City

Sensing that there is still tiredness in the Brentford ranks, O'Neill will instruct his players to make this a physical game. Nevertheless, we still expect the Bees to come through with maximum points as they bid to keep pace with their promotion rivals.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data


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Brentford manager Thomas Frank pictured on January 24, 2021
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
2Watford422410859283182
3Swansea CitySwansea4222101052331976
4Brentford412014771403174
5Bournemouth4221111069412874
6Barnsley42218135446871
7Reading4219101357461167
8Cardiff CityCardiff4216121458461260
9Millwall421417114140159
10Queens Park RangersQPR421611155051-159
11Middlesbrough42169174947257
12Stoke CityStoke421414144546-156
13Luton TownLuton41168173646-1056
14Bristol City42156214156-1551
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn421311185448650
16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest421213173441-749
17Preston North EndPreston42147214155-1449
18Coventry CityCoventry421212183956-1748
19Birmingham CityBirmingham421212183250-1848
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield421211194562-1747
21Derby CountyDerby421110213148-1743
22Rotherham UnitedRotherham40116234154-1339
23Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds42119223555-2036
24Wycombe WanderersWycombe42810243266-3434

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