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

Birmingham City have endured a turmoil-filled season, and are in dire need of another three points to keep their dream of safety alive.

The recent appointment of Lee Bowyer has seen an upturn in form for the Blues, with seven points accrued in the four games since his arrival.

Stoke City have been in indifferent form as of late, with relatively little to play for in the remaining games of their season.

The Potters failed to pick up three wins on the bounce in their previous game, losing 2-1 at home to Millwall.

  • Team news

Birmingham will be without Spanish midfielder Jon Toral, as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury.

Lee Bowyer has a fully fit Ivan Sanchez to choose from after he returned from injury recently.

Stoke will be a man light after Jack Clarke made his way back to parent club Tottenham Hotspur in the week. The 20-year-old suffered ankle ligament damage in training during the international break.

James McClean will be unavailable for the game after aggravating a foot injury, and is likely to miss the rest of the season.

The Potters still remain without Tyrese Campbell, Nathan Collins, Joe Allen and Tashan Oakley-Boothe, with none expected to play again this season.

  • Predicted lineups

Birmingham (3-4-1-2):

Etheridge; Roberts, Dean, Colin; Colin, Gardner, Sunjic, Seddon; Halilovic; Jutkiewicz, Hogan.

Stoke City (3-4-1-2): 

Davies; Chester, Souttar, Batth; Smith, Mikel, Thompson, Norrington-Davies; Powell; Brown, Fletcher.

  • Ones to watch

Scott Hogan

Scott Hogan joined Blues last season off the back of a largely uninspiring loan spell at Stoke, in which he scored three goals in 15 games under Nathan Jones and Michael O'Neill.

The Ireland international made the switch from city rivals Aston Villa permanent in the summer, after weighing in with seven goals in the second half of the season. He has got seven so far this campaign too, and will be looking to seek vengeance on the manager that did not fancy him at Stoke. 

Nick Powell

Nick Powell has been the Potters’ star man this season, imperative to every success they have had so far. With 12 goals and three assists to his name, the former Manchester United man is undoubtedly enjoying the best campaign of his career to date.

Stoke will need the 26-year-old to be fit and firing against a stern Blues backline. Powell will be looking to carry on his rich vein of form, with seven goals in 2021 so far. 

  • Previous meetings

The two played out a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture at the bet365 Stadium, with goals from Nick Powell and Harlee Dean.

Birmingham have had the upper hand in recent years, with three wins to Stoke's one victory in the last five games.

The most enthralling game in recent memory between the two came in October 2013, with the Potters claiming their only victory at St. Andrews in 33 years on penalties after a 4-4 draw in the League Cup.

  • How to watch

The match kicks off at 15:00 BST on Saturday April 11.

Match passes for iFollow coverage can be purchased from either club's website for £10 for customers in the UK and Ireland.

  • What both managers have said

Birmingham boss Lee Bowyer was complimentary of his side's opposition in his pre-match press conference. He said:

"I wouldn't say they're out of the playoffs. I don't think their manager will be saying they're out of it yet. They are all professional players that will come and try and win the game, and it's going to be tough for us.

"Stoke are a good side. We're at home so we'll have to be on the front foot and try and win the game."

Michael O'Neill echoed the feelings towards his counterparts. He said:

"It's not (going to be an easy game). They've had a good reaction to Lee coming in, clean sheets help you enormously, particularly when you're near the bottom of the table."

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