Brentford v Stoke City preview

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Stoke City travel to promotion chasing Brentford on Saturday, hoping to rekindle their play off ambitions.  

Stoke, who sit 10th in the Championship, lost 2-0 away at play-off chasing rivals Barnsley on Wednesday night will be hoping to end their poor run on the road, failing to win on their travels since December. 

Michael O’Neill is hoping for a bounce back, but is aware the threat Brentford pose and is ready for a different test to Wednesday.  

He said: “It will be a different style of play to Wednesday, they are a footballing team who get the ball down and move it around so we will have to be able to deal with that. 

“We will have to be able to cover the pitch because we will be stretched, there’s no doubt about that. We will have defend well, but equally, when we are on the ball we have to show more of ourselves.” 

Brentford will themselves be looking to close the gap on table toppers Norwich after ending their three game losing streak on Wednesday in a 3-0 win against struggling Sheffield Wednesday.  

Team News 

Steven Fletcher limped off against Barnsley with a groin injury so could face a late fitness test for Saturday, Sam Clucas is also a doubt for the Potters with a groin injury of his own. James McClean, who scored in the reverse fixture, has been ruled out with a foot injury.  

Brentford will be hoping top scorer, Ivan Toney, will be back in the starting 11 after returning on the bench on Wednesday. However the Bees will be missing left back Rico Henry, Josh Dasvila is unlikely to feature despite playing on Wednesday.  

Key Players 

Nick Powell (Stoke City)- If Stoke are to get a positive result they will need star player Powell to be at his best. He grabbed a brace in Stoke’s 3-0 win against Luton last Saturday, and will be hoping to add to the 10 goals he has this campaign.  

Bryan Mbeumo (Brentford)- With Championship top scorer Ivan Toney a slight doubt, Mbeumo is the one Stoke will have to keep the closet eye on. The French u21 international scored his first goal of 2021 on Wednesday, Mbeumo will be a threat from the right hand side, producing eight assists, only second to the joint highest assists of nine (shared by five players).  

Last Meeting  

The Potters will be hoping for a repeat of their October where they won a five goal thriller, 3-2. Stoke raced into a three goal lead inside the hour mark through goals from Fletcher, McClean and Tyrese Campbell. Brentford threatened a comeback with two goals from Marcus Forss made sure of nervy end for the Potters, but they held out to inflict the Bees’ last defeat before a 21 game unbeaten run shot them up into automatic promotion contention.  

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