MX23RW : Monday, August 3 09:45:00| >> :120:47540:47540:
Jul 12, 2020 at 1.30pm UK at Bet365 Stadium
StokeStoke City
BirminghamBirmingham City
Batth (12'), Clucas (45')
McClean (62')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Gordon (5'), Gardner (29'), Bellingham (33'), Burke (85')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Championship game between Stoke City and Birmingham City, including team news and predicted lineups.

Stoke City square off against Birmingham City on Sunday afternoon knowing that victory will take them above their opponents in the Championship standings.

While Blues currently occupy 17th position, a 10-match winless streak has left the West Midlands outfit just four points above the relegation zone.

Match preview

Stoke City boss Michael O'Neill pictured on June 30, 2020© Reuters

While Michael O'Neill was naturally disappointed with Stoke's 5-0 defeat at the hands of Leeds United on Thursday night, the Potters boss will at least feel satisfied that his team's fate remains in their own hands.

Not only do the Staffordshire outfit still sit one point above the relegation zone, registering maximum points on Sunday will see them edge ahead of Blues on goal difference.

On many levels, this is the perfect fixture for Stoke, who may have been left hoping that one of several rivals would lose their way in previous weeks.

Instead, O'Neill's team have an opportunity to put distance between themselves and the bottom three, while also improving on recording just one win from their last five outings.

As many as 11 goals have been conceded during that period, putting the pressure on what remains a solid second-tier backline to live up to their reputations.

For Birmingham, the upcoming fixture represents their first since the departure of Pep Clotet, who had remained in the dugout despite an earlier announcement regarding his departure.

On the back of a three-match losing streak, Steve Spooner and Craig Gardner have been placed in charge on a caretaker basis, tasked with the job of keeping the club in the Championship.

Although they remain four points ahead of 22nd-placed Hull City, another setback at the bet365 Stadium may leave Birmingham on the brink of dropping into the bottom three.

Since keeping a clean sheet at neighbours West Bromwich Albion, 10 goals have been conceded in four games, including three against each of Hull, Huddersfield Town and Swansea City.

Stoke City Championship form: WDLLWL

Birmingham City Championship form: LDDLLL

Team News

Birmingham City midfielder Jude Bellingham pictured in October 2019© Reuters

After dropping down to the substitutes' bench in midweek, Jude Bellingham should be restored to the Birmingham starting lineup.

Gardner must decide whether to play himself or take a spot in the dugout, putting Maikel Kieftenbeld in contention for an appearance in midfield.

Harlee Dean may also be handed a starting role after being relegated to the substitutes' bench since the 3-3 draw with Hull.

O'Neill is likely to revert to a back four, which could lead to a recall for Tom Ince on one of the flanks.

James Chester is also expected to get the nod in place of Nathan Collins at centre-back.

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Butland; Smith, Chester, Batth, Martins-Indi; Cousins, Clucas, Powell; McClean, Campbell, Ince

Birmingham City possible starting lineup:
Camp, Colin, Roberts, Clarke-Salter, Pedersen; Crowley, Bellingham, Kieftenbeld, Bela; Hogan, Jutkiewicz

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We say: Stoke City 2-1 Birmingham City

Although both clubs have struggled since the resumption, we feel that Stoke are in the best position to get back on track. However, with the stakes so high, expect this encounter to be a tense affair right up until the final whistle.


Who will win Sunday's Championship clash between Stoke City and Birmingham City?

Stoke City
Birmingham City
Stoke City
Birmingham City
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Stoke City manager Michael O'Neill pictured on July 4, 2020
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CLeeds UnitedLeeds46289977354293
5Cardiff CityCardiff4619161168581073
6Swansea CitySwansea461816126253970
7Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest461816125850870
9Preston North EndPreston461812165954566
10Derby CountyDerby461713166264-264
11Blackburn RoversBlackburn461712176663363
12Bristol City461712176065-563
13Queens Park RangersQPR461610206776-958
15Stoke CityStoke46168226268-656
16Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds461511205866-856
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield461312215270-1851
19Luton TownLuton46149235482-2851
20Birmingham CityBirmingham461214205475-2150
RCharlton AthleticCharlton461212225065-1548
RWigan AthleticWigan461514175756147
RHull City46129255787-3045

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