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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Sky Blues head to Stoke City

Season finale at the bet365…

6 May 2022

The Sky Blues take on Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium in their final Sky Bet Championship fixture of the season. Here’s everything you need to know about our opponents.

Fact File

Name: Stoke City
Founded: 1863
Stadium: bet365 Stadium
Capacity: 30,089
Nickname: The Potters
Address: Stanley Matthews Way, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 4EG
Pitch Size: 115 x 74 yards

The Potters.jpeg

The Opposition

Stoke City are just shy of the midway mark in the Championship, sitting in 13th place heading into the final game of the season.

Jacob Brown heads up the Potters’ goalscoring charts with 13 strikes this season and January coupe Lewis Baker follows up behind him with eight goals since arriving in the winter window .

Brown appears again on the assists tally (4) - the third most in the side - bettered by Mario Vrancic (5) and Tom Smith (6).

If the Potters can sustain their position in the table, it will be their best finish to a league campaign since dropping down from the Premier League after the 2017/18 season.

Michael O'Neil.jpeg

The Manager: Michael O’Neil

Stoke City boss Michael O’Neil amounted over 400 appearances in his playing career, turning out for Newcastle United, Hibernian, and even had a spell with the Sky Blues between 1996 and 1998.

The midfielder was also capped for his country Northern Ireland 31 times, grabbing four goals for the Green and White Army.

Following his retirement from professional football in 2004, O’Neil turned to management, earning his first gig with Brechin City in 2006.

O’Neil subsequently moved onto Shamrock Rovers, where the won two League of Ireland titles and the Setanta Cup.

With silverware in his ranks he took the Northern Ireland job and helped his home nation to their first ever European Championship finals in 2016, hosted in France.

Stoke snapped up his services in 2019 with the Northern Irishman remaining as the international team boss for another year before he left his post to focus solely on his domestic management position.

 

Last Six Games

Lost - Middlesbrough 3-1 Stoke City (Sky Bet Championship)
Won - Stoke City 1-0 QPR (Sky Bet Championship)
Won - Blackburn Rovers 0-1 Stoke City (Sky Bet Championship)
Lost - Stoke City 0-1 Bristol City (Sky Bet Championship)
Won - West Bromwich Albion 1-3 Stoke City (Sky Bet Championship)
Lost - Reading 2-1 Stoke City (Sky Bet Championship)

Viktor Gyökeres.jpeg

Last Time We Met

Viktor Gyökeres’ strike was the only goal of the game as the Sky Blues walked to a 1-0 victory against Stoke City at the Coventry Building Society Arena, last time we met.

The Swede went close in the first-half on three occasions, but was denied by Potters’ goalkeeper Jack Bonham as the game remained level.

Gyökeres persisted in his attempts to pull City ahead and found broke the deadlock with twenty minutes left on the clock, picking the ball up and fizzing a shot from outside the box into the bottom corner.

Moments after, Martyn Waghorn went close from a similar range before Callum O’Hare dragged his volley narrowly wide of the post in the final minutes of the match, but City, ultimately, ran out 1-0 winners.

 

Head-to-Head Record

Sky Blues wins - 29
Draws - 9
Stoke wins - 29

Marcus Hall.jpeg

Club Connection: Marcus Hall

Born and bred in Coventry, Marcus Hall made his Sky Blues debut versus Tottenham Hotspur on New Year’s Eve, 1994.

Whilst with City, Hall appeared eight times for England Under-21s and played 157 times for the Sky Blues in his first eight years as a professional.

Hall moved onto Nottingham Forest, but only made one appearance, then being signed by Southampton where he did not play for the club. Following a disrupted period in his career, Hall joined Stoke City in December 2002.

The defender helped the Potters avoid relegation on the final day of the season and went on to be a key figure in their backline- just shy of a century of games when he left.

Hall returned to Coventry after his spell with Stoke, where he made another 151 appearances and was awarded a testimonial match for his services to the Sky Blues.

At the end of his Sky Blues stint, Hall wrapped up his career with Northampton Town with whom he spent a season before his retirement.

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Match Officials

Gavin Ward is set to take charge of his second Sky Blues game this season with the other coming in City’s emphatic 4-1 victory over now-league champions Fulham in October 2021.

Ward will be assisted by Mark Pottage and Mark Dwyer whilst Trevor Kettle will act as the fourth official.


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