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Preview: Stoke City vs. Queens Park Rangers - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Stoke City and Queens Park Rangers square off on Saturday afternoon looking for the victory which would help them secure a top-half finish in the Championship standings.

The visitors hold a five-point advantage over their next opponents, who remain at risk of dropping down to 15th spot before the end of the campaign.


Match preview

Stoke City's Jacob Brown in action against Coventry City in the Championship on April 21, 2021© Reuters

Such has been Stoke's demise during the second half of the campaign that few supporters would have had complaints with a 1-1 draw away at Nottingham Forest last weekend.

Nevertheless, it extend the club's winless streak to five matches with just 22 points coming from as many fixtures since the turn of the year.

The likelihood is that Michael O'Neill will be given an opportunity to shake-up his squad during the summer, potentially generating funds in the transfer market with a couple of big-money sales.

However, the former Northern Ireland boss needs at least one win from a closing double-header with QPR and Bournemouth if he is to convince supporters that he remains the right man for the job.

The Potters have failed to win any of their last three fixtures at the bet365 Stadium, collecting just one point from meetings with Millwall, Preston North End and Coventry.

Queens Park Rangers QPR manager Mark Warburton pictured in February 2021© Reuters

In sharp contrast to their hosts, QPR are a club which seem very much on an upward trajectory after recording 22 points from their last 12 matches.

Last weekend's defeat to likely champions Norwich City halted their momentum, but Mark Warburton will be delighted with how his players are ending the campaign.

Sitting just two points adrift of eighth-placed Cardiff City, Warburton will have his sights set on moving ahead of the Bluebirds, particularly with a home meeting versus Luton Town to follow the trip to the Potteries.

Aided by six goals and two assists from striker Lyndon Dykes, QPR have scored in their last nine fixtures in the Championship.

Stoke City Championship form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D

Queens Park Rangers Championship form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L



Team News

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

O'Neill will give consideration to naming the same Stoke XI which earned a point at the City Ground last weekend.

Jacob Brown is an alternative to Steven Fletcher in attack, but Nick Powell may only be selected among the replacements if he passes a late fitness test.

The likes of James Chester, Morgan Fox and Joe Allen all remain out of contention for the Potters.

Charlie Austin should return to the QPR starting lineup with either Chris Willock or Ilias Chair dropping to the substitutes' bench.

Sam Field is also expected to get the nod ahead of George Thomas in midfield.

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Davies; Smith, Souttar, Batth, Norrington-Davies; Thompson, Mikel; Matondo, Clucas, Tymon; Fletcher

Queens Park Rangers possible starting lineup:
Dieng; Dickie, De Wijs, Barbet; Kakay, Johansen, Field, Wallace; Chair; Austin, Dykes


SM words green background

We say: Stoke City 1-2 Queens Park Rangers

With his job potentially under threat, O'Neill will demand a strong performance from his Stoke side this weekend. Nevertheless, QPR look a team on the up under Warburton, and we are backing the visitors to show a greater cutting edge in the final third.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away 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/Away:data


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How you voted: Stoke vs QPR

Stoke City
20.4%
Draw
32.7%
Queens Park Rangers
46.9%
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Norwich City manager Daniel Farke pictured in February 2021
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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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