Stoke City vs Leicester City: Predicted XI

Will Stoke make any changes to the team that beat Watford?

Stoke City vs Leicester City: Predicted XI
Could Jese make a return to the fold?

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes will have been relieved by the victory at Watford last weekend but will be asking his players to record consecutive wins for the first time since January.

However, the Potters have not beaten Leicester City at home in the Premier League in three attempts and that’s despite leading 2-0 in the previous two meetings before conceding two second-half goals to the Foxes.

Many will think Hughes will go with an unchanged team from the win at Watford, but there still could be changes made to the starting XI.

Here’s how Stoke are predicted to line-up for this Midlands derby in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

GK – Jack Butland

Selected by Gareth Southgate for England’s upcoming friendlies, the shot-stopper has played every Premier League minute for Stoke this season after overcoming the ankle injury that plagued his previous campaign.

Stoke City goalkeeper, Jack Butland, and captain Ryan Shawcross. Source | Getty Images.
Stoke City goalkeeper, Jack Butland, and captain Ryan Shawcross. Source | Getty Images.

CB – Ryan Shawcross (capt)

Returned to the fold in recent weeks after a back injury and the skipper looked back to his best when nullifying the threat of Troy Deeney last weekend at Vicarage Road. 

CB – Kurt Zouma

The Chelsea loanee has been a standout player this season and his imposing presence at the back is one that will prove vital in securing a win over a revitalised Leicester.

CB – Kevin Wimmer

The £18m summer signing looks to be settling into his new surroundings after helping the Potters to three points at Watford and praised the team spirit in midweek. If the Austrian international is able to nail down a place in the back three then fans should see him flourish at the bet365 Stadium.

RWB – Mame Biram Diouf

Hard working and a team player, Diouf has filled in at wing-back this season due to a notable shortage of players that can succeed in this role at Stoke. In spite of his defensive position, the former Manchester United man is the club's top scorer this term with three goals. He puts in a shift and will continue doing his tireless work.

LWB – Erik Pieters

The 29-year-old is into his fifth season at the club but he looks comfortable in the side with his place under little threat having started all ten games so far this season. Despite getting into a number of good areas to put a cross into the box, the Dutchman is yet to register an assist this season.

CDM – Joe Allen

Another who works tirelessly for the team and will put in a shift. He seems to be building a good relationship up with the man alongside him and they are starting to become a useful pairing.

CDM – Darren Fletcher

Fletcher proved to be the match winner last weekend after the midfielder scored a training ground-like set piece with a side-foot volley.

Darren Fletcher celebrates Stoke's first goal at Vicarage Road last week. Source | Getty Images.
Darren Fletcher celebrates Stoke's first goal at Vicarage Road last week. Source | Getty Images.

That came after a few quiet games where he’d made a few mistakes. The Scot stepped up to the plate at Watford and the veteran will be aiming to provide similar performances on a more consistent basis. Of the Stoke team, he’s completed most passes with 392; 62 more than anyone else.

LF – Eric Choupo-Moting

An ever-present on the team sheet since joining on a free in summer. The 28-year-old has shown glimpses of what he can do, like the double against Manchester United, but there is still plenty more to come from him. He’s registered the second most assists for the club (2) and he’s taken the most shots, having attempted 29 – the fifth most of any player in the Premier League.

CF – Jese

Jese has started in the four previous home games. The PSG loanee made a perfect debut when netting the winner against Arsenal but he hasn’t kicked on from that and understandably so, due to personal reasons.

Jese has made his presence known at the bet365 Stadium this season. Source | Getty Images.
Jese has made his presence known at the bet365 Stadium this season. Source | Getty Images.

He was on the bench at Watford but the trend of him starting in home games could continue. Up against Wes Morgan and Harry Maguire, his nimble agility could be well suited.

RF – Xherdan Shaqiri

The Swiss international is the talisman for the team and is the most creative threat having registered three assists – that’s already more than he got in 21 games last season. At times Shaqiri has ploughed a lone furrow in attacking areas and it’s easy to understand his frustrations.

There are also arguments that can be made about starting Tom Edwards at right wing-back, which would enable Diouf to play up top.