In contrast, Barnsley have found form and confidence since the restart. The Tykes have collected seven points from their three games. Their form means victory at the Bet365 Stadium will see Barnsley climb above Stoke in the table.
Stoke City and Barnsley Clash in Vital Relegation Battle
Relegation Becoming All Too Real for Stoke City
The Potters are desperate for points and a morale-boosting win. Stoke were brushed aside by Wigan Athletic on Tuesday. The game offered more questions than answers as Stoke slipped into further relegation trouble.
Stoke lacked fight as they caved in to an impressive Wigan side. Concerns were all too real for Michael O’Neill who slated his side after that performance.
Reality has sunk in for Stoke after an abject midweek display. Michael O’Neill desperately needs his side to respond and victory over Barnsley will be vital in more ways than one.
Stoke can pull five points clear of Barnsley with just five games if they win. They can also enhance their survival chances and dent Barnsley’s. A win would also install some much-needed morale and confidence.
Influential midfielder Joe Allen remains out injured. Michael O’Neill will make changes to his side. The likes of Tyrese Campbell, Lee Gregory, James Chester and Bruno Martins Indi could all earn recalls to the starting eleven.
Barnsley’s Survival Train is Gaining Momentum
The Tykes have found goals, confidence and more importantly, clean sheets. Gerhard Struber’s team are building momentum as they charge towards safety. Seven points from the first three games of the restart have ignited belief in the fans and players.
Their latest excellent result came against promotion-chasing Blackburn Rovers. They battled to a well deserved three points. However, they will know a win at the Bet365 Stadium is imperative to their survival chances.
Stoke cruised to a 4-2 win at Oakwell back in November. The game was Michael O’Neill’s first in charge. A game which seems a distant memory for Stoke fans. Sam Clucas’ terrific brace set Stoke on their way to victory.
This is a game neither side dare not lose. The repercussions of defeat could be fatal for both sides. Stoke are in desperate need of a win after their recent run of results. The Potters have won just once in six and have lost their last two.
Barnsley are fresh off seven points from their last three games. They are full of confidence and ready to upset one of their relegation rivals.
Stoke City 1-0 Barnsley