Sports Mole sneak peeks Saturday’s Champion clash in between Stoke City and Barnsley, consisting of team news and forecasted lineups

2 sides embroiled in a transfer dogfight will deal with off in a crunch match on Saturday as Stoke City welcome Barnsley to the bet365 Stadium.

Stoke caught a 3-0 defeat versus Wigan Athletic last time out, whereas Barnsley delighted in a 2-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers to keep their survival hopes alive.

Match preview

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Meeting an in-form Wigan Athletic side was never going to be a simple task for Stoke, and the Potters felt the full force of Kal Naismith as the substitute bagged a brace at the DW Stadium to leave Stoke simply one point above the drop zone.

Michael O’Neill was really singing in the criticism of his gamers following their miserable defeat against Wigan, and the Potters manager will no doubt be demanding an enhanced performance versus among their relegation rivals in midweek.

Stoke continue to browse win because the Championship returned to action, with a defeat to Middlesbrough and a 1-1 draw with Reading preceding the midweek defeat to Wigan, and Huddersfield Town’s 3-0 triumph against Birmingham City indicates that the Potters have fallen into 21st with six video games delegated play.

Nonetheless, Stoke have only suffered defeat in 2 of their last 10 games on house soil, although the bet365 Stadium will be without its 30,000-strong crowd for the rest of the campaign.

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On the other hand, Barnsley are setting up a strong fight to get away the bottom three as they got rid of top-six hopefuls Blackburn Rovers by 2 objectives to nil on Tuesday night.

Second-half objectives from Conor Chaplin and Jacob Brown at Oakwell indicates that Gerhard Struber’s males have actually now taken seven points from a possible 9 considering that the English second tier resumed – although they still occupy a spot in the bottom three as they lie 23rd with 41 points.

22nd-placed Hull City – who sit one point above the Tykes at this stage – have the chance to climb out of the bottom three with triumph against Middlesbrough on Thursday, but Barnsley can do the exact same this weekend needs to other results go their method.

Struber’s guys are yet to concede a goal following the Champion’s return and will no doubt elegant their chances against an out-of-sorts Stoke side at the weekend, and the Tykes also boast an outstanding recent record on their travels with three wins and 3 tidy sheets in their last 4 away outings.

The two clubs were associated with a high-scoring affair in the reverse fixture, however it was Stoke that ultimately came out on the best end of the scoreline as O’Neill experienced his side delight in a 4-2 victory at Oakwell in November.

Stoke City Championship type: DDWDLL

Barnsley Champion kind: WLLWDW

Group News

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Nick Powell is back in the fold for Stoke having served his one-match suspension, and the midfielder is in line for a return to the very first XI.

O’Neill might choose to shuffle the pack once again as Stoke aim to detain their downturn, with Bruno Martins Indi, Tommy Smith and Tyrese Campbell all in contention to include from the first whistle.

Joe Allen is the only injury issue for the Potters at the minute – with the midfielder not expected to play a part before the season is over.

Romal Palmer was forced off through injury in Barnsley’s success over Blackburn, but otherwise Struber has a tidy bill of health for the weekend trip to Staffordshire.

Young goalkeeper Jack Walton has impressed in between the sticks because making the beginning lineup in June, and his English compatriot Chaplin could be rewarded with a start following his goal versus Blackburn.

Stoke City possible starting lineup:

Butland; Smith, Shawcross, Batth, Martins Indi; Cousins, Clucas; Ince, Powell, McClean, Campbell

Barnsley possible starting lineup:

Walton; Sollbauer, Andersen, Williams; Ludewig, Mowatt, Styles, Ritzmaier; Thomas, Chaplin, Brown

We state: Stoke City 0-1 Barnsley

O’Neill’s scathing evaluation of his gamers is sure to have an impact on their efficiencies in these final couple of weeks, however whether the Potters can start a revival versus one of their fellow strugglers remains to be seen. Barnsley have shown lots of positive energy because they went back to action, and we expect the Tykes to bring that momentum forward against a second-rate Stoke side this weekend.