Stoke City vs Luton Town preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
(Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images)

Stoke City are looking to notch back-to-back wins for the first time since early December, after a narrow 1-0 victory last time out against Sheffield Wednesday. 

The Potters remain firmly in the play-off hunt for now, but will definitely need to avoid another 11-game winless streak if they are to remain in contention.

Luton Town travel to Staffordshire knowing that their form must improve, with just one win and one draw from their last six games. 

Town boss Nathan Jones returns to the club he spent a turbulent 11 months with in 2019. The Welshman won just six of his 38 games in charge of the Potters in that time.

  • Team news

For the first time since 2007 Stoke will head into a game without Ryan Shawcross on their books, after the 33-year-old club captain left by mutual consent on Friday.

Shawcross had only played three games all season, and looks to be on his way to an adventure in the Florida sun with Inter Miami

Left back Rhys Norrington-Davies will be available for Stoke, after he sat out the last three games due to suspension. 

The Welsh international played for Luton on loan in the first half of this season, making 22 appearances for the Hatters before switching to Stoke.

Morgan Fox will be unavailable after picking up a hamstring injury last time out, whilst Nathan Collins and Tyrese Campbell remain long-term absentees.

Luton defender Tom Lockyer is ruled out of his squad's trip up north, after picking up an ankle injury in their 2-0 loss to Cardiff last time out. 

The news comes as a blow to their chances, with Lockyer forming a good partnership with Sonny Bradley in recent weeks. 

Matty Pearson will be in contention after suffering a tight hamstring, as will the returning James Bree who has not featured since January 24. 

The Hatters will be without winger Tom Ince after his move from the Potteries to Bedfordshire in January. 

EFL loan rules state that a player can only play against his parent club with written permission, which Stoke have not granted in his case.

  • Predicted lineups

Stoke City:

Gunn; Smith, Souttar, Batth, Norrington-Davies; Allen, Cousins; Brown, Powell, Clarke; Fletcher.

Luton Town:

Sluga; Cranie, Pearson, Bradley, Potts; Rea, Pellock-Mpanzu, Dewsbury-Hall; Cornick, Collins, Naismith.

  • Ones to watch

Steven Fletcher

With just seven goals and one assist to his name this season, neutral fans can be forgiven for thinking that the Fletcher has failed to settle in at the bet365 Stadium. However, despite the record, it cannot be understated just how imperative the Scotsman is to the way Michael O'Neill sets up his side, with the 33-year-old constantly climbing to win countless headers as well as getting the ball down to let the players around him work their magic.

Fletcher's downfall has been his knack of picking up numerous injuries so far this campaign, but with three in his last five, he will be hoping to add to his tally in this game to fire his side up the table towards the play-offs.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall

Dewsbury-Hall was a relatively unknown entity when he arrived at Kenilworth Road on loan from Leicester City last October, but the versatile midfielder has been the shining light in an energetic Hatters midfield so far this season. The 22-year-old is strong on the ball and a great dribbler, and Jones will certainly need his star man to be in good stead if Luton are to take home the three points. 

The youngster will no doubt be a prime candidate to take home the Luton POTY award come the end of the campaign too. 

  • Previous meetings

Stoke will be looking to make it a double over their visitors this season, after goals from Fletcher and Nick Powell saw take a 2-0 win back to Staffordshire in October. 

The two have spent most of the recent years in different divisions, with just 12 meetings since the turn of the century. The Hatters have won just two of those twelve, with their last win against Stoke coming way back in December 2000. 

  • How to watch

The game will kick off at 3pm on Saturday February 20 and can be watched by both sets of fans. For Stoke fans it will be available on 'Stoke City+ Live', and for Luton fans it can be found on 'iFollow Luton'.

Match passes cost £10.

  • What the managers have said

In his press conference, Michael O'Neill outlined the importance of the first goal in the game, he said:

"Where we are at this minute and where a lot of teams are, the first goal is very important in all of these games.

Luton have had a couple of good 1-0 away wins in recent weeks, Bournemouth and Birmingham, when they’ve got that all-important goal.

We have to try to make sure we get that first goal and push on from there.

Goals have not been coming that easy for us at this minute in time. We’ve had a lot of play and we have to focus on is improving that quality of play in the final third. We will continue to beat that drum."

Nathan Jones was also complimentary of his opposition, a team he knows all to well from his own time at the club. 

“They’re a good side, a well organised side, have good individuals as I know, they have different individuals as well that they’ve signed,” he said.

“They signed quite a lot in the summer and the January window, so they’ve got threats.

“They're a good side, they’re a side with Premier League aspirations, so it will be a real, real tough game and it’s always a difficult place to go.”