STOKE City will welcome former manager Nathan Jones back to the bet365 Stadium for the first time since he was sacked as Potters boss when they host Luton Town tomorrow afternoon.
Jones was dismissed by Stoke in November 2019 and returned to Luton later that season, miraculously keeping the club in the Championship despite the Hatters being six points from safety following his appointment.
City are aiming to secure back-to-back wins in the league for the first time since early December and beat the Hatters 2-0 at Kenilworth Road in the reverse fixture back in October.
Potters manager Michael O’Neill is hoping his side can build on their win against Sheffield Wednesday in midweek, their first victory since the turn of the year.
O’Neill said: “Our only objective is to win the game, we have to get back to that pattern of putting back-to-back wins together and we’re looking forward to Saturday’s game.
“We’ve looked at the fixtures and we feel that we have games coming up that we should win, but what we’ve learnt this season is that you can take nothing for granted in this division.”
The Potters cancelled the contract of club legend Ryan Shawcross on Friday meaning he is no longer with the squad and fellow defender Nathan Collins remains absent with a fractured foot.
Morgan Fox is in contention, having limped off in the first-half against Sheffield Wednesday in midweek and Rhys Norrington-Davies returns after completing his three match suspension.
Luton will be without Wales international Tom Lockyer through an ankle injury, but should have Matty Pearson available despite the defender being taken off in their midweek defat at home to Cardiff City with a tight hamstring, whilst Tom Ince, on loan at the club from Stoke, is inelligible.
Steven Fletcher (Stoke City) – The striker scored the winning goal against Sheffield Wednesday in midweek and netted in the reverse fixture against Luton earlier this season. With the Hatters struggling with injuries at the back, Fletcher will be hoping to add to his tally of seven goals at the bet365 Stadium this weekend.
James Collins (Luton Town) – Stoke will have to nullify Luton striker James Collins to claim all three points tomorrow afternoon. Collins has scored 10 goals for the Hatters this season which includes hat-trick’s against Norwich City and Preston North End respectively.
The last meeting between the two sides ended in a 2-0 away win for the Potters with Steven Fletcher and Nick Powell scoring second-half goals to hand Michael O’Neill’s side all three points at Kenilworth Road.
Fletcher headed home what proved to be the winning goal just one minute into the second-half from Tyrese Campbell’s right wing cross.
Nick Powell added a second goal soon after when Luton failed to clear the ball out of their own penalty area, allowing the midfielder to drill an effort through a crowd of players and into the net.