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Match Previews

Preview: Stoke City v Rovers

A look ahead to the contest against Michael O'Neill's Potters at the bet365 Stadium

19 December 2020

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Tony Mowbray's side hit the road today aiming to record back-to-back Sky Bet Championship wins and earn a third successive victory at the bet365 Stadium against Stoke City.

Mowbray's men come into this afternoon's encounter on the back of a last-gasp triumph over Rotherham United on Wednesday evening.

Although the result proved to be a morale-boosting victory for the hosts, disappointment came just 24 hours later, with yet another injury leaving Mowbray a body light for today's contest.

The boss revealed earlier this week that Derrick Williams has joined the likes of Corry Evans, Joe Rankin-Costello, Lewis Travis, Scott Wharton and Elliott Bennett on the sidelines.

An issue with Williams' quad means the defender will be out for months rather than weeks.

Bradley Dack, who has scored in Rovers' last two trips to the bet365 Stadium, isn't yet ready for a first team outing.

For Stoke, Michael O'Neill is hopeful that ex-Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel will be available for selection, but has confirmed that Lee Gregory and Sam Clucas are still some way off a return.

Elsewhere, exciting forward Tyrese Campbell is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a serious knee injury, with Jacob Brown, Steven Fletcher and Sam Vokes set to battle it out for a spot up front.

Rovers have triumphed on their last two trips to the bet365 Stadium, with Sam Gallagher netting a late winner at the venue last term.

Looking further back, goals from Danny Graham, Bradley Dack and Harrison Reed earned Rovers a narrow 3-2 win against the Potters in the 2018-19 campaign.

And ahead of today's game, Stoke chief O'Neill is fully aware of Rovers' capabilities of finding the back of the net.

"Rovers clearly have quality in the key areas, we know all about the threat of Armstrong, who's had a great first half of the season," the Stoke boss said in his pre-match press conference.

"They have a lot of good young players, I like the look of their squad.

"They're a fluid passing team and we're going to have to make sure we make it difficult for them as well as playing our own football."

Supporters can still purchase a live video match pass for only £10 for this afternoon's contest. To purchase yours, please click here.

A reminder that kick-off is at 3pm later on today.

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