Sheffield Wednesday vs Stoke City preview: How to
watch, kick-off time, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Tony Pulis welcomes his former side Stoke City to Hillsborough as the newly-appointed Sheffield Wednesday boss takes charge of the first home game of his Owls tenure.

The Welshman spent ten years with the Potters over two spells, which saw him get them promoted into the Premier League, as well as earning a FA Cup final runners-up medal and a spot in the Europa League.

He will be hoping to register his first win with the Owls after one defeat and one draw from his opening two games in the Wednesday hot seat.

The Owls will be encouraged by Pulis’ record against the Staffordshire side, losing just once in 16 fixtures against Stoke: winning eight and drawing the remaining seven.

Stoke will be hoping to bounce back from a 3-2 defeat to Norwich City in midweek and continue their pursuit of the playoff positions, sitting two points away from sixth-placed Reading.

Michael O’Neill’s side are the joint-second highest scorers in the Championship this campaign with 21 goals scored in 13 games.

Team news

Injuries and suspensions have been a big hindrance to the Owls’ progression this year. Wednesday have collected four red cards in the last seven games. Josh Windass serves the second game of his three-match ban, whereas Kadeem Harris will be hoping to make his first appearance under Pulis after serving his period out.

On the injury front, Sheffield Wednesday will be without Jack Marriott, Dominic Iorfa, Aden Flint and Keiren Westwood, who was forced off with a groin injury on Wednesday night, for the visit of Stoke. Chey Dunkley remains a doubt, though, he has made a return to training but is carefully being eased into the first-team picture after a double leg-break sustained in February.

The big injury news that was being watched by both teams is that of Steven Fletcher, who has been ruled out of Saturday’s clash. The forward has four goals league goals this season for the Potters, following his move on a free after four years with the Owls, where he scored 13 times in an injury-ridden final season with Wednesday, in the summer. He went off with a knee injury in the defeat to the Canaries on Tuesday.

Winger James McClean has now completed his 10-day self-isolation period and Jordan Thompson has also missed the last two fixtures with an ankle injury.

Ryan Shawcross stepped up his return to action by featuring for the club’s Under-23 side alongside Thibaud Verlinden.

Goalkeepers Adam Davies and Angus Gunn remain sidelined, with Joe Allen continuing his return to training.

Predicted Line-ups

Sheffield Wednesday (4-5-1): Wildsmith; Palmer, Lees, Borner, Penney; Odubajo, Bannan, Luongo, Paterson, Reach; Rhodes

Stoke City (3-4-3): Maenpaa; Suttar, Batth, Fox; Smith, Mikel, Clucas, Tymon; Powell, Gregory, Campbell

Form Guide

Sheffield Wednesday have won just once in their last eight games and sit 23rd in the Championship after 13 outings.

The Pulis era began with a 1-0 defeat to Preston North End before Wednesday earned a hard-fought point against Swansea City in midweek.

Wednesday took the lead on 27 minutes as Adam Reach netted his first goal of the season after a smart corner-kick routine.

The Swans equalised on the hour through top scorer Andre Ayew, who took advantage of poor defending from Joost van Aken to curl home past Joe Wildsmith.

The Owls, however, were lucky to not have conceded at the death, with Swansea having a questionable goal disallowed from Kasey Palmer.

Should Pulis’ side win at the weekend, it will only be their third home victory in the whole of 2020.

The Potters have won three of their last five games – losing two – and they have scored 10 goals in that period, conceding nine in just three of those matches.

At the end of October, O’Neill’s side edged a 1-0 victory against Rotherham United before being defeated 3-2 at Vicarage Road against Watford where they were beaten by a 93rd-minute winner from Ismaïla Sarr.

Back-to-back victories followed in the form of a 3-0 success over Reading before an entertaining 4-3 win against Huddersfield Town.

In their last fixture, the Potters suffered a 3-2 defeat against Norwich. After finding themselves 3-0 down, Stoke almost got themselves a point, scoring twice through Tyrese Campbell and Nathan Collins after Emi Buendia saw red, however, they were unable to get that third goal as the Canaries defended desperately.

Ones to watch

Sheffield Wednesday – Adam Reach

Reach has often drifted in and out of fixtures, however, Owls boss Pulis has backed the winger to kick on and perform under the 62-year-old’s leadership. A reason for his inconsistencies may be because Reach has been deployed in many different positions, meaning he hasn’t been able to have a constant run at one spot.

Reach bagged his first goal of the campaign against Swansea on Wednesday night. His best campaign at Hillsborough came in the 2018/19 season, where Reach registered 15 goal contributions, netting eight and recording seven assists - the previous campaign he laid on 11 assists in 45 games.

The 27-year-old must improve on his key passes per game average, making 0.3 so far this season, which is poor. He also makes 0.3 crosses per game; this must improve drastically for Reach to stay in the side.

Stoke City – Tyrese Campbell

With the absence of target man Fletcher, Campbell’s importance to the side will grow even more if Stoke are to come away from Hillsborough with a win.

Wednesday have not conceded more than one goal in the last five games, proving to be even more solid with Pulis’ guidance in the past two games, meaning Campbell may be limited to opportunities.

The 20-year-old has 11 goal contributions in 12 league games this season, scoring six and assisting five.

Campbell, who has been linked with a move to the Premier League, is a real handful for defenders, making an average of 1.4 dribbles per game, as well as taking 1.6 shots per game. He also makes an average of one key pass per game, proving that he is a superb all-round forward.

Last time they met

The last time these two sides met was on Boxing Day 2019 and it proved to be a cracker.

McClean put the Potters ahead early on, but the Owls fought back to lead 2-1 after second-half goals from Morgan Fox – another who made the switch to the Bet365 Stadium from South Yorkshire – and Tom Lees, both from corners.

However, Stoke managed to equalise in the 93rd minute through Campbell before Sam Vokes bagged the winner in the 97th minute to break the hearts of the travelling Owls support.

Wednesday came out on top in the previous meeting between the two teams in S6, with Massimo Luongo getting the only goal of the game in October 2019.

What the managers have said

Pulis has applauded his side’s efforts ahead of his Hillsborough debut.

“The lads have been brilliant, they have worked really hard, they have tried to embrace what we are trying to do,” said the Welshman, speaking to the Sheffield Wednesday website.

“I think everybody can see we need to strengthen certain areas, without a question of a doubt. But the players have been fantastic with their attitude and commitment to the work.

“The performance at Swansea, particularly the first half, was very, very good.

“Now we’ve got to get through a period of very tough games - starting tomorrow with Stoke and get as many points as we can until we get important players back in the team.”

Stoke boss O’Neill believes that it will be a tough game against the Owls on Saturday.

“It will be a different test for us tomorrow and one that we need to be prepared for,” he told the club’s website.

“We’ve also shown that we can compete against teams like Norwich and Watford, so we aren’t a million miles away and we need to continue pushing forward.

“I think tomorrow will be a different style of game for us, particularly given the league position that Sheffield Wednesday are in obviously.

“That will be a factor and it will certainly be a tough encounter. We have to take what we saw, particularly in the second half on Tuesday, forward into the game tomorrow.

“In terms of spirit, in terms of character, we can’t ask for any more, the games are coming very quickly and it’s a chance for us to return to winning ways.”

Where to watch

The only way to view this clash live on Saturday 28 November is by purchasing an 'iFollow' match pass on either of the club’s website.

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