Stoke City vs Swansea City preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
(Credit: Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Stoke City are looking to bounce back from a 2-1 defeat at Brentford with a win, in what is their second consecutive game against a top six side.

The Potters are slipping ever further from the playoffs, with the form table placing them 22nd in 2021 so far. 

Swansea City are still firmly in the hunt for automatic promotion, with the Jacks sitting four points behind second-placed Brentford with two games in hand. 

They will need to better their consistency in the campaign's run-in though, after two wins and three losses in their previous five games. 

  • Team news

Stoke are likely to be without diminutive midfield man Sam Clucas for the foreseeable future, after the 30 year-old had a double hernia operation last Friday. 

Winger James McClean also faces at least a month on the sidelines after aggravating a foot injury from earlier in the season. 

Michael O'Neill will hope to have Steven Fletcher back after he missed the last game with a groin strain, whilst Rabbi Matondo may make the matchday squad after picking up an injury in mid-February. 

Morgan Fox, Nathan Collins and Tyrese Campbell all remain long-term absentees. 

Steve Cooper is likely to have the versatile Kyle Naughton available for selection, after he sat out their previous loss to Bristol City.

The trip to the Potteries will come too soon for both Ryan Bennett and Wayne Routledge as they continue to recover from their respective injuries. 

On-loan American international Jordan Morris will not play again this season after picking up an ACL injury 10 days ago, leaving the Swans short of attacking numbers for the rest of the campaign.

  • Predicted lineups

Stoke City (3-5-2):

Gunn; Souttar, Batth, Chester; Smith, Allen, Obi-Mikel, Thompson, Norrington-Davies; Powell, Brown.

Swansea City (3-5-2): 

Woodman; Guehi, Cabango, Naughton; Roberts, Grimes, Smith, Hourihane, Bidwell; Ayew, Lowe.

  • Ones to watch

Nick Powell

At this point in the season, it goes without saying just how imperative Powell has been to the Potters successes so far. With 10 goals and two assists to his name, the 26 year-old has tried his utmost to fill the void left by Tyrese Campbell's season-ending injury. 

Powell will no doubt be hoping that Steven Fletcher is fit and ready to start against Swansea, with the Scot's inclusion usually allowing Michael O'Neill to refer back to a 4-3-3 formation and Powell at his favoured number 10 position.

Conor Hourihane

An exciting January loan signing from Aston Villa, Conor Hourihane has wasted no time in settling down in South Wales. With four goals and one assist in nine games from central midfield, Steve Cooper's men will need the Irishman to continue firing on all cylinders if they are to secure automatic promotion this season. 

The 30 year-old will be hoping to grab a goal or play that killer pass in order to lead the Swans to victory on the road against Stoke. 

  • Previous meetings

Swansea will be looking to make it a double over their hosts this season, after goals from Jay Fulton and Kasey Palmer completed a 2-0 win at the Liberty Stadium back in October.

The two teams were both relegated from the Premier League in 2017/18 and played their last game against each other, with Stoke running out 2-1 winners away from home.

The last five games have resulted in three Stoke wins and two Swansea wins. 

  • How to watch

The game will kick off at 8:15pm on Wednesday March 3. 

The matchup will be aired live on the Sky Sports Football channel.

Due to EFL regulations, the game will not be available on either club's iFollow service in the UK. It will be available in 'dark market territories' for their equivalent of £10.

  • What the managers have said

Michael O'Neill was complimentary of his side's opponents in his pre-match press conference. He said:

“I think they’ve a good blend of youth and experience for this league. Their young players are good and the players they’ve signed are good as well.

“We beat them last season at the bet365 and I think we actually beat them at Swansea as well before I came but they deserved to win the game earlier this season against us.

“Any team that stays in this league around the top three, top four, consistently as Swansea have done must be a good team. Brentford are very much in that mould as well. There are a lot of teams vying to finish fifth or sixth but Swansea are a bit above that.

“As a team we have to win the next game, regardless of the opposition.”

Steve Cooper returned the favour and spoke of his admiration for the hosts in his press conference, he said:

"It's a tough one because they’ve got a strong squad of players that has experience, talent, some players have cost quite a lot of money. It’ll be a strong test but we want to focus on ourselves and go there in the right frame of mind. We’re looking forward to it."

He was also asked about Swansea's lack of striking options after Morris' injury.

"Sometimes you get dealt these cards and sometimes you have to get on with it. I don’t want to moan about it. Now’s not the time for it. We’re in such a busy period.

"Games are coming thick and fast and it’s about being positive about our work. Not focusing on what we can't do. Every manager would sit there and say they would want a bit more of this or a bit more of that."

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