Match Preview | Cardiff City vs. Stoke City
OPPOSITION FOCUS | IN THE DUGOUT
Stoke City’s manager is Alex Neil, who joined the Potters at the start of the campaign, having led Sunderland back to the Championship by winning the League One Play-Off Final at the end of last season.
During his playing days, Neil had spells with with Airdrieonians, Barnsley, Mansfield Town and Hamilton Academicals, before beginning his managerial career with the Accies back in 2013.
Neil made the move to English football with Norwich City, leading the Canaries to the Premier League in the 2014/15 campaign.
Following his departure from Carrow Road in 2017, he joined Preston North End, spending four years at Deepdale.
Since making the switch from Sunderland, Neil has led the Potters to 17th in the table with three fixtures in the campaign remaining.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | KEY PLAYERS
Stoke City’s source of goals this season have largely been Tyrese Campbell and Jacob Brown.
The two attackers have nine goals apiece in the league this season, with Campbell also contributing with six assists.
In midfield, Lewis Baker, formerly of Chelsea, has impressed since joining the Potters in 2022. So far this season, he has eight goals to his tally, whilst also recording five assists.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | LAST THREE
Saturday’s opponents head into this weekend on the back of recording one point in their last three fixtures.
Neil’s men recorded a goalless draw at Birmingham City, before falling to a 2-1 defeat to West Bromwich Albion last weekend.
Despite taking the lead through Brown, a second-half brace from Jayson Molumby saw the Potters succumb to a loss. In midweek, Neil’s side were beaten by Wigan Athletic by a goal to nil, with striker Will Keane scoring a second-half winner.
IN THE PRESS | WHAT’S BEEN SAID
Before facing the Potters, Sabri Lamouchi spoke to the press on Friday morning.
On the prospect of facing Saturday’s opponents, he said: "I remember a team in trouble at the start of the season. They changed their manager, Alex Neil, after a perfect job at Sunderland, and he's doing a perfect job in Stoke as well.
"They have a very good squad. I love the three midfielders, for example - Pearson, Smallbone and Laurent. They have a good striker as well, experienced defenders, a very good team.
"Probably they are safe and waiting until the end of the season, but they will not give us anything. They will try to disturb us, and try to play.
"Our fans know that this game is really important. They know what we have done in Watford is massive, and we must absolutely keep going, be pragmatic, and get points. We must achieve our goal as soon as possible."