MX23RW : Thursday, June 24 01:57:44| >> :600:216805:216805:
Jan 2, 2021 at 7.45pm UK at Bet365 Stadium
StokeStoke City

Thompson (57'), Chester (58'), McClean (73'), Souttar (90+4')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Stanislas (79')
Lerma (90+2')

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

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

Stoke City and Bournemouth meet in the Championship on Saturday evening with just three points separating the promotion-chasing clubs in the standings.

However, each side have failed to win in two matches, leaving them in seventh and fourth position respectively ahead of the game at the bet365 Stadium.

Match preview

Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall pictured on November 7, 2020© Reuters

Having kept Bournemouth in the top six of the table since his appointment earlier this year, Jason Tindall has performed considerably better than many anticipated after he was named as the replacement for Eddie Howe.

However, the former Cherries assistant is now facing his first real test with his side having under-performed in games against Wycombe Wanderers, Luton Town and Brentford.

While four points were still collected from those fixtures, supporters would have expected more than two goals from that triple-header.

The postponement of their Boxing Day contest led to an unexpected period of reflection for Tindall, but the 11-day break from action did not benefit them against one of their promotion rivals.

As it stands, Bournemouth will reclaim second spot if they win their game in hand, although that scenario will only remain if they can get back on track against Stoke.

Although their next opponents have put together a five-match unbeaten record in the Championship, four of those games have ended in low-scoring draws.

Michael O'Neill's side are desperately missing the presence of Tyrese Campbell and is it threatening to undermine their productive efforts at the back.

The Potters still sit just two points adrift of sixth-placed Reading, but a group of teams are in line to move ahead of them if they cannot find a solution in attack.

With Bournemouth losing just two of their 11 away fixtures this season, O'Neill may have to tinker with his system to find the cutting edge required to return to winning ways.

Stoke City Championship form: LDDWDD

Bournemouth Championship form: WDWWDL

Team News

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

O'Neill could hand a recall to either John Obi Mikel or Sam Clucas after they both featured as substitutes against Nottingham Forest.

Steven Fletcher is unlikely to return from a knee injury so Jacob Brown should partner Sam Vokes in attack.

Bournemouth boss Tindall could revert back to a 3-4-3 formation, a move which would likely see a return for Diego Rico.

Lewis Cook could be the player to miss out with the likes of Dan Gosling and Sam Surridge having to make do with a spot among the replacements.

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Bursik; Collins, Souttar, Chester; Smith, Thompson, Powell, Clucas, McClean; Vokes, Brown

Bournemouth possible starting lineup:
Begovic; Cook, Simpson, Kelly; Smith, Lerma, Billing, Rico; Brooks, Solanke, Stanislas

SM words green background

We say: Stoke City 1-1 Bournemouth

While both clubs are in need of maximum points to boost their promotion hopes, O'Neill and Tindall may be prepared to accept a share of the spoils. With that in mind, expect defences to come out on top in the Potteries on Saturday night.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at 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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Stoke City manager Michael O'Neill pictured in October 2020
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