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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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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
2Watford432510860283285
3Bournemouth4322111073423177
4Swansea CitySwansea4322101152341876
5Brentford422015772413175
6Barnsley43228135546974
7Reading4319111357461168
8Queens Park RangersQPR431711155151062
9Cardiff CityCardiff4316131459471261
10Middlesbrough43179175148360
11Millwall431417124244-259
12Luton TownLuton42169173646-1057
13Stoke CityStoke431414154749-256
14Preston North EndPreston43157214455-1152
15Bristol City43156224258-1651
16Coventry CityCoventry431312184258-1651
17Blackburn RoversBlackburn431311195449550
18Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest431214173542-750
19Birmingham CityBirmingham431213183351-1849
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield431211204563-1847
21Derby CountyDerby431110223151-2043
22Rotherham UnitedRotherham41116244256-1439
23Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds43129223655-1939
24Wycombe WanderersWycombe43910243467-3337

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