Stoke City vs Preston North End preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
(Credit: Dave Howarth/CameraSport)

Both teams are playing for pride as the Championship season draws to a close, with another season in the second tier all but secured for the visitors as they sit nine points from the drop.

Stoke City endured a torrid visit against Birmingham City last time out, losing 2-0 to their Midlands rivals. They have won just two of their last six games, a poor run which now sees them in 12th spot.

Assistant manager Billy McKinlay left his role in the week and was replaced by former Bristol City boss Dean Holden.

Preston North End have also been in poor form, winning just one of their previous eight, but interim manager Frankie McAvoy has brought a refreshed feeling of optimism to the club despite the bad run.

Brentford handed out a beating at Deepdale last time out, with the Lilywhites losing 5-0 to the promotion chasers.

  • Team news

The Potters have no new injury concerns, but remain without James McClean, Tyrese Campbell, Nathan Collins, Joe Allen and Tashan Oakley-Boothe, with none expected to play again this season.

PNE defender Liam Lindsay will not feature as he is ineligible against his parent club, after making the loan switch to Lancashire in January.

The Lilywhites will also be without diminutive midfield man Daniel Johnson, as he recovers from an injury picked up two weeks ago against Norwich City.

Sean Maguire and Greg Cunningham are set to return from their respective knocks, with the Irish duo having missed the last few weeks.

Joe Rafferty, Patrick Bauer and Declan Rudd are all unlikely to feature again in this campaign, due to injury.

  • Predicted lineups

Stoke City (3-4-1-2):

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

Preston North End (3-4-1-2):

Iversen; Storey, Huntington, Hughes; Van den Berg, Ledson, Whiteman, Barkhuizen; Potts; Evans, Jakobsen.

  • Ones to watch

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

Sepp Van den Berg

19-year-old versatile defender Van den Berg joined the Lilywhites in January on loan from Liverpool, and has put in some stand-out performances so far in a white and navy shirt. 

Standing at 6'2, he will hope to use his towering height to try to capitalise in both boxes against a Stoke side that were troubled in the air against Birmingham. McAvoy may shift the Dutchman to a preferred centre-back position with Lindsay unavailable, as opposed to the right-wing back role he has taken up recently.

  • Recent meetings

Stoke came out victorious in the reverse fixture, with a Lee Gregory goal securing a 1-0 win at Deepdale early on in the season.

Preston have good memories of the bet365 Stadium in recent times, winning 2-0 in their last two visits to Staffordshire. 

The previous 10 games between the teams have seen just two Stoke wins, three draws and five wins for PNE.

  • How to watch

The match kicks off at 12:30 BST on Saturday April 17, after being moved from an initial 15:00 BST kick-off.

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

  • What the managers have said

Michael O'Neill spoke to media about what he feels his new assistant Dean Holden will bring to Stoke's ideas on and off the pitch. He said:

“I actually tried to bring Dean in last summer. Relative to numbers that other clubs have, our staff is a little bit small actually.

“I felt we needed another coach, particularly for the younger players coming up into the first team – your Collins, Souttar, Campbell and all of them."

Preston boss Frankie McAvoy insisted that his team is focused on getting the job done and securing their mathematical safety, despite last week's poor result. He said:

"We are hurting from the result last weekend, but time is a healer and we will dust ourselves down and we have a chance on Saturday to go and rectify that and hopefully it is not a chance missed.

“We are trying to focus more on us, being as comfortable as we can on the ball when we have it, being as structured in trying to get the ball back as quick as we can and trying to be as clinical as we can, creating opportunities and hopefully scoring goals,” he added.

 

 

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