Preview: Stoke City vs. Cardiff City – prediction, team news, lineups

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Previews Saturday’s Championship clash between Stoke City and Cardiff City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Stoke City and Cardiff City square off on Saturday afternoon looking for a much-improved second period of the season.

The two clubs occupy 17th and 19th spot in the table after losing a combined 21 of their 42 matches in the Championship this campaign.

Match preview

© Reuters

Given the expectations that accompanied his arrival, Alex Neil knows that he is under pressure to deliver at the bet365 Stadium, particularly after five defeats from seven games before the World Cup break.

The Stoke hierarchy are not known to make ill-thought-out changes and Neil will be provided with time, but Stoke currently sit just two points clear of the relegation zone.

Neil has collected 18 points from 15 matches, two important wins recently coming against Wigan Athletic and Luton Town, yet the 2-0 reverse at West Bromwich Albion has brought the Baggies out of the drop zone.

Just seven points separate 12th and 23rd, highlighting that there is potential for Stoke’s season to go in either direction when they are resuming their schedule with a game of this magnitude.

The Staffordshire outfit played Nottingham Forest in a friendly on December 2, warming up for their return with a 2-1 success.

Huddersfield Town boss Mark Hudson watches on during his side's Premier League clash with Manchester City on January 20, 2019© Reuters

Meanwhile, Cardiff used the break to hold a tribute match for the late Peter Whittingham, the Bluebirds recording a 3-1 win over another of his former clubs in Aston Villa.

Although the emotion of the occasion was the most important aspect of the evening, Mark Hudson would have been pleased to see his side come through with an impressive result.

Having overseen six defeats in eight Championship games, it was a victory which was needed ahead of the restart as Cardiff look to move away from the relegation zone.

Before the World Cup, Cardiff lost home encounters with Hull City and Sheffield United by 3-2 and 1-0 scorelines, and a chance to build on three away wins in six attempts will be welcomed by Hudson and his squad.

Stoke City Championship form:

Stoke City form (all competitions):

Cardiff City Championship form:

Cardiff City form (all competitions):

Team News

Australia's Harry Souttar in action with Argentina's Julian Alvarez at the World Cup on December 3, 2022© Reuters

Despite returning to training this week, Nick Powell may not be risked from the start, which should lead to a recall for Dwight Gayle.

Sam Clucas and Josh Laurent remain out of contention, but Stoke have been handed a huge boost after Harry Souttar returned from a serious knee injury to star for Australia at the World Cup.

Although Neil may opt against risking the centre-back from the start, he may be selected among the replacements.

Rubin Colwill and Mark Harris are in contention for Cardiff after representing Wales at the World Cup.

However, Kion Etete is in line for a rare Championship start after netting a double versus Villa, with Callum Robinson potentially dropping out of the team.

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Bonham; Clarke, Jagielka, Wilmot, Tymon; Baker, Thompson, Smallbone; Campbell, Gayle, Delap

Cardiff City possible starting lineup:
Allsop; Romeo, Ng, Kipre, Nkounkou; Wintle, Ralls; Harris, Sang, O’Dowda; Etete

We say: Stoke City 1-1 Cardiff City

With both clubs heading into the World Cup on the back of a defeat, we feel avoiding another will be their focus here. With that in mind, expect a competitive share of the spoils to be played out in the Potteries, even if the consequence may be Cardiff dropping into the bottom three.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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