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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Thursday, April 1st 2021

MansionBet Match Preview: Stoke City (H)

With the international break over, City turn their attentions to the Sky Bet Championship run-in with Stoke City visiting Ashton Gate this Good Friday (April 2nd, 3pm KO).

It’s the first of a double-header over the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend (City face Coventry City on Monday) with the next fixture the first of the final eight of the season.

It’s been quite a fortnight leading up to this one, with the 2-0 defeat to Rotherham United feeling a distant memory. Since then, City have moved into their new training complex, The Robins High Performance Centre and a number of players have been involved on international duty.

Highlights: Bristol City v Rotherham United

But it’s been an exciting time back on home soil with the move to The Robins High Performance Centre being completed at the start of the week.

The state-of-the-art facility will bring the Academy and first team together under one roof with all new facilities such as a hydrotherapy pool, changing rooms, medical and rehabilitation facilities, a tactics room and office space, as well as education and welfare facilities for City's young players.

The players have trained on the new pitches this week as they prepare for the visit of Stoke City to Ashton Gate.

 

As for Michael O’Neill’s side, they have been largely out of form and have managed four wins after a torrid run of 11 games without victory. They did beat Derby County last time out thanks to Jacob Brown’s 74th minute header but it was a mostly uninspiring game against a Rams side struggling in the league.

The season started strongly enough for the Potters as they progressed to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup alongside only a handful of defeats in the league come December.

In fact their win ratio – including all competitions – was 44% alongside just six defeats. It could be a season of two halves then, with their win ratio dropping to 36% and 14 defeats to this point.

O’Neill’s men are also without an away win since they beat Wycombe Wanderers at the start of December. Heading to BS3 against a Robins side which has struggled for results at home makes for interesting reading but Nigel Pearson will be hoping his buoyed group of players in high spirits after the big move this week, will have the sparkle on the pitch to get the much-needed three points at home.

Stoke will be without the experienced Joe Allen in midfield, who is out for “a number of weeks” after picking up an injury on international duty. Winger Rabbi Matondo did return to Stoke City earlier than planned after a breach of protocols while on duty with Wales last week.

As for City, Callum O’Dowda (hamstring) will not be selected though captain Tomas Kalas (hip) has recovered after his awkward fall against Rotherham, and both Nathan Baker and Tommy Rowe are in contention once more.

MATCH DETAILS 

Where: Ashton Gate
When: Friday, April 2nd, 3pm KO
Competition: Sky Bet Championship

Referee: Michael Salisbury
Assistants: Paul Hodskinson and Wade Smith
Fourth official: Lewis Smith

DOWN MEMORY LANE

Stoke City 0-2 Bristol City
Bet365 Stadium

Sunday, September 20th 2020
Sky Bet Championship

 

City struck late in each half to compile a first defeat of the season on Stoke City and maintain a 100% record.

It was encouraging at both ends as Nahki Wells and Andreas Weimann got their first goals of the 2020/21 campaign, while the defence earned their third clean sheet in all competitions.

Chris Martin, who scored in midweek, assisted the opener on the cusp of half-time, when he headed the ball across goal for his strike partner to pounce from close range.

It was deserved for the visitors, who had been on top in the opening half, and while action was limited after the break, City kept the Potters at arm’s length before substitute Antoine Semenyo rolled the ball into the path of Weimann to sweep home.

HEAD TO HEAD*

Bristol City v Stoke City

Played: 57
City won: 17 (30%)
Drew: 15
City lost: 25

Bristol City goals: 46
Stoke goals: 46

Bristol City top goalscorer: Famara Diédhiou (10)
Stoke top goalscorer: Nick Powell (11)

Bristol City most assists: Antoine Semenyo (7)
Stoke most assists: Tyrese Campbell and Steven Fletcher (5)

Bristol City clean sheets: 11
Stoke clean sheets: 22

League positions
Bristol City: 14th (49 points)
Stoke: 11th (52 points)

*All competitions unless stated

Last time out: Steven Sessegnon in action v Rotherham United
Kasey Palmer on the move against Rotherham

Robins TV

City versus Stoke will be streamed live on Robins TV. The matchday show, which costs just £10, starts 2.30pm, with Chris Martin to join as guest and pundit.

SECURE YOUR PASS NOW

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