Stoke City vs Blackburn Rovers preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Sam Gallagher battles with Nathan Collins in the 0-0 draw between the sides in February. (Photo by Dave Howarth - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Stoke City host Blackburn Rovers this weekend as both sides look to reignite their SkyBet Championship play-off challenges.

The Potters come in to the game following back-to-back goalless draws away from home, whereas Rovers clinched a dramatic victory last time out with a 97th minute win over Rotherham United.

Just two points seperate the sides with Stoke sitting in eighth and visitors Blackburn three places behind in 11th.

Michael O'Neill's side are without a win in their last three matches and are in the middle of an injury crisis which has seen talisman Tyrese Campbell ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

A goalless stalemate away at Queens Park Rangers in their midweek match was a club record fifth away clean sheet in succession for Stoke.

Goal friendly Rovers are the second highest scorers in the division having only failed to find the net in just five of their 19 league matches this campaign.

Tony Mowbray's side know a win will see them leapfrog the hosts in the table, while a win for Stoke could see them climb as high as fourth.

Team news

Despite the loss of star striker Campbell, the injury problems could be lessening for the Potters.

O'Neill is confident he can welcome back veteran midfielder John Obi-Mikel for the game and Steven Fletcher could make his first start since returning from injury.

Jordan Thompson is also fit following a short lay off and young winger Thibaud Verlinden is pushing to start after he returned for a bright cameo following a lengthy spell out with a cruciate ligament injury.

The game will be too soon for midfielders Joe Allen and Sam Clucas however after O'Neill confirmed the pair are still a few weeks from fitness.

Blackburn will certainly be without defenders Scott Wharton and Derrick Williams after the pair were ruled out long term.

Wharton is expected to miss the rest of the season with a ligament injury whereas Williams has suffered a recurrence of quad problem that plagued him back in early November.

Stoke-born Ben Brereton will not be fit to face his former side and Corry Evans will not get the chance to play against his former international manager after the midfielder was ruled out.

Predicted lineups

Stoke:

Bursik, Collins, Souttar, Chester, Fox, Thompson, Cousins, Brown, Powell, McClean, Fletcher.

Blackburn:

Kaminski, Nyambe, Lenihan, Ayala, Bell, Downing, Johnson, Rothwell, Elliott, Armstrong, Gallagher.

Ones to watch

Nick Powell - Stoke

Mercurial midfielder Nick Powell is the Potters joint highest goal scorer with four goals and one assist to his name this campaign.

With a controversial record of being the most fouled player in the Championship this season, Powell is a figure that inspires his side while often frustrating the opposition.

Following the loss of Campbell, Powell will look to take up the mantle of star man for Stoke.

Adam Armstrong - Blackburn

Few players in the Championship this season have proven as dangerous as Adam Armstrong. The former Newcastle United hitman is the second highest scorer in the division with 15 goals to his name and three assists.

After a surprising run of three games without a goal, Armstrong layed on an assist and scored a 97th minute winner for his side last time out against Rotherham.

Previous meetings

The last time the sides met was back in February when they played out a 0-0 draw, one of the last matches to take place before the first national lockdown.

Blackburn have won on their last two visits to the Potteries and have won three of their last five matches against Stoke, losing just once.

Before that the Potters won five matches in a row against Rovers from 2010 to 2012.

How to watch

The game kicks off Saturday 19th December at 15:00pm.

No fans will be allowed to attend the match at the bet365 Stadium as Stoke-on-Trent has been placed into Tier 3 restrictions.

Instead both sides will be streaming the action through their individual streaming platforms.

Stoke City's streaming information can be found here.

Blackburn Rovers use iFollow which can be accessed here.

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