Meanwhile, League One outfit Gillingham reached this stage of the competition courtesy of a penalty-shootout success over Coventry City.
Having gotten the better of Premier League outfit Wolves on Thursday night, everything pointed to Stoke putting in another strong performance against Bristol City in the Championship.
However, the Potters succumbed to their first defeat of the season, conceding goals at the end of each half to the in-form Robins.
Michael O'Neill may look to view the game in isolation, aware that his side have shown enough resilience in their opening fixtures to suggest that they will challenge for promotion this year.
Nevertheless, there will be an acknowledgement that the setback has increased the pressure ahead of this contest as they bid to click into gear in the final third.
While three clean sheets have been recorded in four matches, the Staffordshire outfit have only contributed one goal at the other end of the pitch.
Gillingham have enjoyed a strong start to the campaign, combining three wins in normal time with their dramatic triumph over Coventry in the previous round of this competition.
Steve Evans will be the first to admit that work needs to be done to improve a defence which have failed to shut out the opposition in four attempts.
However, having conceded two thirds of possession during the wins over the Sky Blues and Wigan Athletic, there can be no complaints about the character of a squad which includes a dozen fresh faces.
Challenging for promotion from League One will be Evans's priority, but he will be eager to progress through to an away tie against either Bristol City or Aston Villa in the next round.
Stoke City EFL Cup form: WW
Stoke City form (all competitions): WDWL
Gillingham EFL Cup form: WD
Gillingham form (all competitions): WWLDW
Steven Fletcher is in line to come into the starting lineup after a period spent among the replacements.
Goalkeeper Jack Butland is expected to remain among the substitutes as he continues to be linked with a move away from the bet365 Stadium.
Evans may opt to keep changes to a minimum having witnessed his side record two positive results in a row.
Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Davies; Collins, Souttar, Martins Indi; Smith, Oakley-Boothe, Thompson, Tymon; McClean, Fletcher, Gregory
Gillingham possible starting lineup:
Bonham; Jackson, Maghoma, Tucker, Ogilvie; Woods, Robertson, Willock; Graham, Akinde, Coyle
We say: Stoke City 2-0 Gillingham
Despite the changes which will be made for this game, we still expect a relatively comfortable night for the home team. While some players may be short of match fitness, they will be eager to make an impact on their chance in the first team.