Stoke City vs Everton Preview: Blues still searching for away win with trip to relegation-threatened Potters

Stoke City vs Everton Preview: Blues still searching for away win with trip to relegation-threatened Potters

Preview for Everton's trip to the Bet365 Stadium to face Stoke City.

Connor Bennett

Everton travel to the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday, still searching for a win away from Goodison Park since December. 

In their way, stand Stoke City who are battling to keep their Premier League status alive following a season dominated by lingering around the bottom three.

Mark Hughes, now manager of Southampton, was sacked by the Potters and replaced by Paul Lambert in January but the former Aston Villa boss is still searching for his second win in his new role.

Lambert, however, hasn't won in any of his seven Premier League games against Everton as manager - drawing three and losing the other four.

However, if it’s any team you want to face to break a heavy slump - it’s Everton, especially away from Goodison Park.

Sam Allardyce’s men haven’t won on the road since December and threw away their best chance in a long while with the disastrous collapse of a defeat away at Burnley only a fortnight ago.

Last Meeting

The last meeting between the two sides came on the opening day of this season, with a Ronald Koeman led Everton winning 1-0.

Wayne Rooney headed home on the stroke of half-time to score the only goal of the game and give himself a heroes return to the Blues following his summer return home from Manchester United.

Last time out at the Bet365, the sides played out a drab 1-1 draw last February.

Peter Crouch, scoring his 100th Premier League goal, opened the scoring before the hosts were pegged back by a Ryan Shawcross own goal. Seamus Coleman’s cross-cum-shot deflected off Shawcross to beat Lee Grant in the hosts net.

A look at: Stoke City

The Potters currently sit 19th in the Premier League table, one point behind Southampton in 17th, meaning that a result on Saturday could see them escape the drop zone for the time being.

Lambert’s men have not tasted victory since the closing end of January when they beat Huddersfield Town 2-0 at the Bet365 stadium.

The Scotsman has made his side harder to beat since taking over and the Potter have been close to picking up results since he took over the role.

Maligned forward Saido Berahino could be recalled for this fixture as Lambert searches for a change in fortunes. However, the forward hasn’t scored a goal since February 2016. Mame Diouf could also return for the Potters.

Xherdan Shaqiri was picked out by the Everton boss as Stoke’s main man, stating that his side have to “try to keep him as quiet as possible” on Saturday afternoon.

The Swiss forward has been both Stoke’s top scorer and top assists man with seven and six respectively. As ever, he has been the Potters most creative outlet - creating 62 chances this during this campaign.

However, he has not trained since the defeat at home to Manchester City and could be a doubt.

Team News and Probable line-ups

The Toffees will be without Gylfi Sigurdsson for at least six weeks after the Icelandic midfielder picked up a knee injury in last week’s win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

Idrissa Gueye missed the win over the Seagulls through illness but is set to return. Theo Walcott exited last week’s win with cramp but will make the trip.

Ashley Williams is still suspended.

On the other hand, the Potters have a reasonably clean bill of health with only Stephen Ireland and Lee Grant ruled out. Forwards Berahino and Diouf are set to be assessed ahead of kick-off.

Stoke: Butland, Bauer. Stafylidis, Martins-Indi, Zouma, Allen, Cameron, N’Diaye, Jese, Shaqiri, Berahino.

Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Baines, Jagielka, Keane, Gueye, Davies, Rooney, Bolasie, Walcott, Tosun.

Match Day Stats

  1. Everton haven't won both league matches in a season against Stoke since the Potters' first campaign in the Premier League in 2008-09.
  2. The Blues haven’t won on March 17th since the 1989-90 season.
  3. Stoke are winless in their last four matches against Everton - one draw, three defeats - having won the previous three.