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

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

Stoke City square off against Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday afternoon having dropped out of the Championship playoff race courtesy of three successive losses.

Meanwhile, Wycombe now sit 12 points away from safety after back-to-back defeats, putting the pressure on the visitors to gain maximum points at the bet365 Stadium.


Match preview

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

Stoke have performed well in their last two fixtures against Brentford and Swansea City, pushing the two promotion contenders all the way in competitive matches.

However, early goals did not benefit the Potters in either game, the Bees and Swans ultimately fighting back to prevail by 2-1 scorelines.

Now sitting 10 points adrift of the playoffs with 12 fixtures remaining, Michael O'Neill will feel that Stoke must win at least nine times before the end of the campaign.

For a team who have recorded just three victories since December 8, trying to secure a top-10 finish is the more realistic target and would still represent a solid-enough season.

Norwich City's Oliver Skipp in action with Wycombe Wanderers' Anis Mehmeti in the Championship on February 28, 2021© Reuters

While Stoke's recent setbacks have left them out of the playoff race, Wycombe are now closer to the drop on the back of successive defeats to Norwich City and Watford.

Although Gareth Ainsworth will be content with the performances of his players, failing to add any points to their tally has left the Chairboys requiring a miracle to avoid a return to League One.

On the plus side, Wycombe's remaining schedule is more favourable than others, with their next game against top-six opposition not coming until a meeting with Swansea on April 17.

Nevertheless, Ainsworth will not be optimistic about a survival bid until his players improve on a run of just two goals from five matches.

Stoke City Championship form: LWWLLL

Wycombe Wanderers Championship form: WLDWLL


Team News

Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth pictured in September 2020© Reuters

Ainsworth could hand starting roles to Wycombe pair Nnamdi Ofoborh and Garath McCleary after their substitute outings at Vicarage Road.

While Scott Kashket may also be may handed a recall to the first XI, Adebayo Akinfenwa will remain among the replacements.

O'Neill is expected to revert to a back four for this contest, likely resulting in Danny Batth dropping out of the Stoke XI.

Jack Clarke should start on one of the flanks, while Jordan Thompson is an option in midfield if O'Neill decides to rest either Joe Allen or John Obi Mikel.

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Gunn; Smith, Chester, Souttar, Norrington-Davies; Thompson, Mikel; Brown, Powell, Clarke; Fletcher

Wycombe Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Stockdale; Grimmer, Tafazolli, Stewart, Jacobson; Ofoborh, Gape, McCleary, Horgan, Onyedinma; Ikpeazu


SM words green background

We say: Stoke City 2-1 Wycombe Wanderers

While both clubs will be wary of yet another defeat, there will also be an acknowledgement that a draw does not help either side. With that in mind, we expect an entertaining clash in the Potteries, one which could end with Stoke edging the contest by the odd goal in three.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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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2Watford422410859283182
3Swansea CitySwansea4222101052331976
4Brentford412014771403174
5Bournemouth4221111069412874
6Barnsley42218135446871
7Reading4219101357461167
8Cardiff CityCardiff4216121458461260
9Millwall421417114140159
10Queens Park RangersQPR421611155051-159
11Middlesbrough42169174947257
12Stoke CityStoke421414144546-156
13Luton TownLuton41168173646-1056
14Bristol City42156214156-1551
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn421311185448650
16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest421213173441-749
17Preston North EndPreston42147214155-1449
18Coventry CityCoventry421212183956-1748
19Birmingham CityBirmingham421212183250-1848
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield421211194562-1747
21Derby CountyDerby421110213148-1743
22Rotherham UnitedRotherham40116234154-1339
23Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds42119223555-2036
24Wycombe WanderersWycombe42810243266-3434

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