Stevenage Match Preview

So finally cup football is back and the Potters have been awarded a trip to Hertfordshire in the Second Round of the newly named EFL Cup (the League Cup to you and me). Stoke will be hoping for another successful cup run, with the hope of bettering last season’s semi-final exit, with hopes to return to Wembley for the first time since 2011. Over 800 Stokies are expected to make the trip down south, and here is our preview for tonight’s game.

The Opposition

Stevenage sit just about as low in the football league as any team can do, 20th in League 2 after 4 games. However this does not mean the game will be a walk over as Stevenage already have taken a large scalp beating Ipswich away 1-0. Their squad features former Stoke player Michael Tonge. The 33 year old was signed by Tony Pulis on deadline day in September 2008, but only went on to make 19 appearances for the Potters, along with several loan trips out to the likes of Preston, Derby and Barnsley. The two sides have never met before, but things look positive for Stoke as Stevenage have never made it past the 2nd round of the League Cup.

Stoke’s Squad

Jack Butland, Xherdan Shaqiri and Glen Johnson have not been selected to travel as they remain in recovery hoping to get over their injuries in time for Saturday’s trip to Everton. Many fans are eager to see some youth prospects make an appearance tonight, and they may be in luck as neither Eddy Lecygne nor Julien Ngoy, #DeployNgoy, played in the U23’s fixture yesterday; and both were heavily involved in pre-season fixtures. However, Sparky rarely uses youth players and prefers to use first team members who have struggled for game time, with only Oliver Shenton making the leap up in recent times.

My Predicted XI

Due to Hughes’ apparent unwillingness to give youth players a shot in cup competitions I’m going for a 4231 with the team as follows. Haugaard; Bardsley, Shawcross, Wollscheid, Muniesa; Cameron, Allen; Sobhi, Adam, Walters; Joselu.

The Bear Pit Predicts

Elliot: 3-1 Stoke

Dave: 2-0 Stoke

Me: 2-0 Stoke

Dan: 0-0, Stoke on penalties

Mitch: 1-1, Crouch to score, Stoke on penalties

Ben: 4-2 Stoke, Haugaard hat trick

Joe: 6-2 Stoke

Tom: 3-0 Stoke

Written by Tom Thrower

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