Blues face Stoke City later today, hoping to make it 3 wins on the bounce at home. This is despite a pretty awful home record prior to Bowyer’s arrival, winning just 3 of the previous 18 home matches. If Bowyer can match our home wins under Karanka in just 3 games, it will be a massive step in securing safety from relegation.
Blues are currently 7 points ahead of 22nd placed Rotherham and although The Millers have 4 games in hand, they have only taken 3 points from 3 games since the international break. A win would take us to 45 points, leaving us with five games to find just five points to get to that magic 50 which symbolises championship safety.
LAST TIME OUT
In what was their first visit to the Brentford Community Stadium, a goalless draw meant that Blues took home an important point. This is despite a couple of good chances for either side, with Gary Gardner hitting the post before Sergi Canos missed a one on one for the hosts. A point was probably a fair reflection of the game, but definitely something Lee Bowyer did not set out for, despite Thomas Franks mitherings.
The Potters faint hope of a top 6 finish are all but over following a defeat to Millwall on easter Monday. Murray Wallace gave the Lions the lead from a scramble following a corner, Stoke soon equalised through Jacob Brown just before half time. However with 30 minutes to go Mason Bennett put Millwall back ahead, and that’s how it finished. The result leaves Stoke 11 points off the playoff places.
After being subbed on against Brentford, Jon Toral injured his hamstring meaning he was quickly subbed off after just 12 minutes on the field. He is out for the game against Stoke, along with Boyd-Munce. Ivan Sanchez has trained this week and is back in contention.
James McClean will miss today’s game whilst Joe Allen, Tyrese Campbell, Nathan Collins and Morgan Fox all remain sidelined.
ONE TO WATCH
In what is a harder choice than Ivan Toney for the Brentford game, I’m going with the former Manchester United youngster Nick Powell. The 27 year old is The Potter’s top scorer, with 12 goals this season and 3 assists.
Think the 3/5 back has been working quite well for Blues and think Bowyer will stick with it. Only change I’m making is Seddon in for McGree, who despite playing out of position, had a okay game at that left wing back slot. Due to this I wouldn’t be surprised to see an unchanged 11 however.
A Line from the Managers
We are going into stoke now, they are not a bad side. It is going to be as tough as the last two but in a different way. Every team has strengths and weaknesses, Stoke’s are different to Brentford’s, so every game is going to be tough, and we will have to earn the three points
Lee has had a good reaction since he’s gone in there. They’ve picked up two wins, a draw and a defeat against four good sides, which is testament to reaction they have had. They will go into this game with confidence so we expect a difficult match tomorrow.
Photo Courtesy: Roy Smiljanic / BCFC