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Feb 20, 2021 at 3pm UK at Bet365 Stadium
StokeStoke City
3-0
LutonLuton Town
Powell (20', 63'), Fletcher (78')
Brown (8')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Collins (31'), Rea (47')

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

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

Stoke City welcome Luton Town to the bet365 Stadium on Saturday afternoon having finally ended their two-month winless streak in the Championship.

The ninth-placed Potters sit five points clear of the visitors, who travel to Staffordshire on the back of three defeats in five games.


Match preview

Luton Town manager Nathan Jones pictured in December 2020© Reuters

Having witnessed his side succumb to a 4-1 defeat at Norwich City at the weekend, Michael O'Neill was aware that Stoke's season was at risk of petering out with a third of their games remaining.

However, their 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday evening could act as the catalyst required to stay in the mix for the playoffs.

Stoke still sit seven points adrift of sixth-placed Bournemouth, but O'Neill will at least feel that his Potters squad can build on ending their 11-match wait for victory in all competitions.

While Steven Fletcher's late strike against his former club was just his seventh goal of the season, three of those efforts have come in his last five appearances.

Luton Town boss Nathan Jones returns to his former club having enjoyed a relatively stress-free campaign after somehow keeping the Hatters in the second tier last summer.

Nevertheless, Jones will be keen to avoid any more defeats in the short term with just four points being collected from their most recent five fixtures.

Crucially, those points were earned against potential relegation rivals in Huddersfield Town and Birmingham City, ensuring that Luton can continue to focus on achieving some security in mid-table.

Although nine points separate Jones's team and the bottom three, it has reached a stage of the season where a defeat can result in a significant drop down the standings.

In comparison to some of the teams around them, Luton have a more favourable fixture list over the next two weeks, but that only ups the stakes as they bid to keep distance between themselves and the drop zone.

Stoke City Championship form: DLDDLW

Luton Town Championship form: WLLDWL
Luton Town form (all competitions): LLLDWL


Team News

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

O'Neill is unlikely to take any risks on Stoke defender Morgan Fox, who sustained a hamstring injury in midweek.

Josh Tymon or Rhys Norrington-Davies, who is returning from suspension, are in line to deputise, but Fletcher should be fit despite a knock to his calf.

Tom Lockyer and Matty Pearson could miss out for Luton after they sustained ankle and hamstring injuries against Cardiff City.

Jordan Clark and Martin Cranie are in line to replace the defensive pair, with Harry Cornick an alternative to Danny Hylton on the right flank.

Stoke loanee Tom Ince is unable to feature against his parent club.

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Gunn; Smith, Souttar, Batth, Tymon; Allen, Thompson; Brown, Powell, McClean; Fletcher

Luton Town possible starting lineup:
Sluga; Clark, Cranie, Bradley, Potts; Mpanzu, Rea, Dewsbury-Hall; Hylton, Collins, Naismith


SM words green background

We say: Stoke City 1-1 Luton Town

Stoke must find a way to use their late win in midweek to trigger an improved return in the final third. However, facing a Luton side who may be content with a share of the spoils, we expect a low-key encounter in the Potteries to end in a draw.


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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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CNorwich CityNorwich462910775363997
4Swansea CitySwansea4623111256391780
5Barnsley46239145850878
6Bournemouth4622111373462777
7Reading461913146254870
8Cardiff CityCardiff4618141466491768
9Queens Park RangersQPR461911165755268
10Middlesbrough461810185553264
11Millwall461517144752-562
12Luton TownLuton461711184152-1162
13Preston North EndPreston46187214956-761
14Stoke CityStoke461515165052-260
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn4615121965541157
16Coventry CityCoventry461413194961-1255
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest461216183745-852
18Birmingham CityBirmingham461313203761-2452
19Bristol City46156254668-2251
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield461213215071-2149
21Derby CountyDerby461111243658-2244
RWycombe WanderersWycombe461110253969-3043
RRotherham UnitedRotherham46119264460-1642
RSheffield WednesdaySheff Weds461211234061-2141

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