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

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

Sheffield Wednesday welcome Stoke City to Hillsborough on Saturday afternoon with Tony Pulis still looking for his first win in charge of the Owls.

The Yorkshire giants sit five points adrift of safety, while the Potters have dropped down to eighth spot after Tuesday's 3-2 defeat to leaders Norwich City.


Match preview

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

When Tony Pulis was named as the replacement for Garry Monk, Sheffield Wednesday supporters would not have expected a sudden increase in goals given their previous efforts this season.

However, while their only goal during their opening two matches under Pulis has come from a set piece, claiming a share of the spoils at Swansea City will be regarded as an excellent result.

Although Pulis will insist that he is fully focused on welcoming one of his former clubs to Yorkshire, he will also have one eye on Coventry City's improvement in recent games.

The Sky Blues have opened up a five-point gap in 21st place, and it may suggest to Pulis that draws are now no longer good enough if they wish to get themselves out of the bottom three before Christmas.

Unlike their hosts, Stoke have found goals easy to come by in recent weeks with 11 strikes being recorded during their last four fixtures.

Although Michael O'Neill will be delighted with the recent form of Tyrese Campbell, the Potters only have six points to show for their most recent efforts in the final third.

Losing first-choice goalkeepers Adam Davies and Angus Gunn to injury has not helped the cause, but the club's experienced defenders have not eased the burden on England Under-21 international Josef Bursik.

Niki Maenpaa, the former Bristol City stopper, has been brought into the squad, but there is a responsibility on each member of the squad to return to working collectively as a defensive unit.

Despite conceding six goals in back-to-back home fixtures against Huddersfield Town and Norwich City, Stoke still sit just two points adrift of the playoffs.

Sheffield Wednesday Championship form: LLWDLD

Stoke City Championship form: LWLWWL


Team News

Boro boss Tony Pulis cuts a frustrated figure on May 5, 2019© Reuters

Wednesday goalkeeper Kieren Westwood suffered a groin injury against Swansea, meaning that Joe Wildsmith is likely to be brought into the starting XI.

Elias Kachunga and Isaiah Brown are pushing for recalls to the side with Jordan Rhodes in line to drop down to the substitutes' bench.

Kadeem Harris is also in contention for an appearance after serving a three-match suspension.

Maenpaa should come in for his Stoke debut providing that he has proven his fitness in training.

Jordan Thompson and Jacob Brown are in contention for a recall to the side, while James Chester could return to the back three.

Sheffield Wednesday possible starting lineup:
Wildsmith; Palmer, Lees, Borner, Aken, Odubajo; Paterson, Bannan, Luongo, Reach; Kachunga

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Maenpaa; Souttar, Chester, Fox; Smith, Mikel, Clucas, Tymon; Powell, Fletcher, Campbell


SM words green background

We say: Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Stoke City

With Stoke having struggled in defence in recent matches, O'Neill will surely look to tighten things up at the back. At a time when Wednesday are struggling for goals, that could lead to a low-scoring draw being played out at the weekend.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals 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.Over 1.5:data


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Who will win Saturday's Championship clash between Sheff Weds and Stoke?

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General view of Stoke City's bet365 Stadium taken March 2018
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Stoke City: Transfer ins and outs - Summer 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Norwich CityNorwich25165435211453
2Swansea CitySwansea24137429131646
3Brentford23128337211644
4Watford24127529181143
5Reading2413473728943
6Bournemouth25119538211742
7Middlesbrough23116630191139
8Stoke CityStoke2691073128337
9Bristol City24113102526-136
10Preston North EndPreston25112123133-235
11Barnsley25104112732-534
12Blackburn RoversBlackburn2496939281133
13Luton TownLuton2596102127-633
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2594122835-731
15Cardiff CityCardiff2485113028229
16Millwall2461172124-329
17Queens Park RangersQPR246992330-727
18Coventry CityCoventry2468102234-1226
19Birmingham CityBirmingham2568111830-1226
20Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest2567122029-925
21Derby CountyDerby2457121525-1022
22Rotherham UnitedRotherham2255122332-920
23Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds2367101523-819
24Wycombe WanderersWycombe2336141635-1915

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