Stoke City vs Swansea City
Competition: Barclays Premier League
Venue: Britannia Stadium
Date: Saturday; April 2; 2016
Kick off: 14:00 GMT
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Two sides in relatively decent form will clash at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
However, while both teams have been picking up points in recent weeks, they have very different ambitions between now and the end of the season.
A victory over Swansea will send Stoke to 49 points, one shy of fifth-place West Ham United with six matches to play.
Skipper Ashley Williams spoke after the Villa victory of the need to try to ease the pain of an “unacceptable” season by delivering a “good finish”.
That will be no easy task for a Swansea side who have disappointed their followers — and themselves — all too often over the last eight months.
The Potters have scored two goals in three of their last four matches at home to Swansea and should really rate their chances of claiming all three points here.
Stoke’s Premier League record: P31– W13– D7– L11
Swansea’s Premier League record: P30– W9– D9– L13
Stoke’s Recent form (All competitions): W-L-D-W-W
Swansea’s Recent form (All competitions): W-L-W-W-L
Head to Head Stats(Last 6 matches):
EPL 19-10-2015 Swansea 0 : 1 Stoke
EPL 02-05-2015 Swansea 2 : 0 Stoke
EPL 19-10-2014 Stoke 2 : 1 Swansea
EPL 12-02-2014 Stoke 1 : 1 Swansea
EPL 10-11-2013 Swansea 3 : 3 Stoke
EPL 19-01-2013 Swansea 3 : 1 Stoke
Stoke team news:
- Ryan Shawcross looks set to miss out for the reception of Swansea as he struggles to shake off a back injury. Erik Pieters has returned to training and should be okay to return to the starting XI.
- Jack Butland will miss the rest of the season with a fractured ankle. Shay Given is also struggling with fitness which means Jakob Haugaard could be handed his first league start between the sticks.
- Jonathan Walters (out for the season) and Glen Johnson will also miss the visit of Swansea, while Marc Wilson and Xherdan Shaqiri could join them in the stands as well.
- Bojan could be recalled to the starting XI for the first time in nearly a month.
- Mark Hughes has confirmed Ryan Shawcross and Xherdan Shaqiri are out with the latter set to return after the international break. Erik Pieters is also extremely unlikely to feature with the left-back yet to train this week. Charlie Adam is also lacking match fitness.
- With Glen Johnson and Marc Wilson also out, Hughes has real problems in defence ahead of him
Swansea team news:
- Swansea only have Andre Ayew and Neil Taylor absent because of injury.
- Stephen Kingsley could continue at left-back with Taylor out injured.
Stoke City (from): Given, Haugaard, Bardsley, Cameron, Johnson, Muniesa, Pieters, Shawcross, Teixeira, Wollscheid, Adam, Afellay, Imbula, Ireland, Shaqiri, Shenton, Whelan, Arnautovic, Bojan, Crouch, Diouf, Joselu.
Swansea City (from): Fabianski, Nordfeldt, Amat, Bartley, Fernandez, Naughton, Rangel, Taylor, Williams, Britton, Cork, Fer, Fulton, Ki, Lucas, Montero, Routledge, Sigurdsson, Barrow, Emnes, Gomis, Paloschi.
Match facts (via Opta):
- Stoke City are unbeaten in four Barclays Premier League home matches against Swansea City (W3 D1).
- Marko Arnautovic has scored three times in his last three matches at the Britannia Stadium.
- Swansea have kept just one clean sheet in their last 16 league away trips.
- Ryan Shawcross could make his 250th BPL appearance in this match, becoming the first Stoke player to achieve that milestone.
Prediction: Stoke 2-1 Swansea