Stoke City vs Blackpool preview: How to watch, kick-off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
(Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

Stoke City have fallen away from the chasing pack in recent weeks, and are now facing the prospect of a fifth straight season in the Championship unless things drastically change.

The Potters are winless in their last five in all competitions, with a 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace dumping them out of the FA Cup last time out despite a good performance.

Michael O'Neill's side have won just one of their previous eight home league games.

They sit in 15th position in the Championship table and are 10 points from the play-off places.

Blackpool have enjoyed their return to the second tier so far, with Neil Critchley's side sitting comfortably in mid-table with 12 games of the campaign left.

The Tangerines have been inconsistent in recent weeks, with two draws, two losses and one win - a 4-1 thrashing of Reading last time out - in their previous five games. 

They are 14th in the table and one point above Stoke having played an extra game, and so are nine points from the play-offs. 

  • Team news

Stoke City

City have no new injury concerns this week, with Josh Tymon, Mario Vrancic and Romaine Sawyers all returning to action in midweek.

Forward Abdallah Sima may return to the matchday squad after recently returning from his rehabilitation at parent club Brighton and Hove Albion.

Key centre half Harry Souttar remains sidelined for the rest of the season.

Blackpool

Pool will be without right-back Jordan Gabriel for a number of weeks after he picked up a hamstring injury against Reading.

Matty Virtue, James Husband and Chris Maxwell are nearing returns to the pitch after all rejoining training this week.

Neil Critchley remains without Richard Keogh (calf) and Keshi Anderson (hamstring), with both expected to return to full training next week.

Sonny Carey (foot), Luke Garbutt (knee) and Grant Ward (achilles) all remain sidelined.

  • Predicted lineups

Stoke City (3-5-2)

Bursik; Wilmot, Harwood-Bellis, Jagielka; Smith, Baker, Allen, Powell, Tymon; Brown, Maja.

Blackpool (4-4-2)

Grimshaw; Sterling, Ekpiteta, Thorniley, James; Bowler, Dougall, Stewart, Hamilton; Yates, Madine. 

  • Ones to watch

Josh Maja

23-year-old Maja is a name that will be familiar to many in English football after his starring role on the Netflix series 'Sunderland 'Til I Die' back in 2018-19. He was a Black Cats academy graduate and fired in 17 goals in 49 games in two seasons on Wearside before moving to Bordeaux in January 2019.

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After failing to breakthrough in two years in France and a loan spell with Fulham last season, the Nigerian international joined Stoke on loan in January with an option to make the move permanent in the summer. He has netted two goals in six games so far and his strong hold-up and link-up play looks a good fit for the Potters' style.

Josh Bowler

Bowler has enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2021/22, after joining Blackpool from Everton on a free transfer in the summer. The 22-year-old winger failed to make an impression at Hull City in the 2019/20 season, scoring just one goal in 31 games. 

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He has looked at home in the second tier since joining Neil Critchley's side, and his good form saw him touted for a move to Nottingham Forest or Bournemouth in January. A very tricky customer for full-backs, Bowler has netted seven goals and picked up three assists in 37 games in this campaign. Stoke's defence will have to be on high alert with him around on Saturday.

  • Previous meetings

The reverse fixture saw Stoke come out as 1-0 victors with a late goal from Steven Fletcher.

Stoke are looking to complete a league double over their opponents for the first time since the 1999/00 season.

The last meeting between the teams at the bet365 Stadium saw the Tangerines win 1-0 courtesy of a DJ Campbell goal in the Premier League.

Blackpool have won just two of the previous 13 games between the teams, with eight Stoke wins and three draws.

  • How to watch

The game kicks off at 15:00 GMT on Saturday March 5.

It is not available to watch in the UK but overseas supporters can purchase a live stream of the game via either club website.

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