Match Preview | Stoke City vs. Cardiff City
OPPOSITION FOCUS | IN THE DUGOUT
Stoke City’s manager is Alex Neil, who was appointed in August 2022, replacing previous boss Michael O’Neill.
During his playing career, Neil operated as a defensive midfielder, representing Airdrieonians, Barnsley, Mansfield Town and Hamilton Academical.
The latter was his route into management, as he was appointed as boss of the Accies in 2013, leading the club to Scottish Premiership Play-Off success in 2014.
Moving on to Norwich City in 2015, Neil continued to impress, guiding the Canaries to the Premier League via the Play-Offs at the end of his first season.
After a four-year spell at Preston North End, Neil was named manager of Sunderland in February 2022 and continued his habit of Play-Off victories, leading the Black Cats to promotion with a Wembley win just three months into his tenure.
Since making the switch to the Bet365 Stadium, the Scotsman has managed 60 fixtures, with a win percentage of 36%.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | SEASON SO FAR
The Potters are currently 11th in the table, having won six of their opening 14 matches.
Neil’s men are on a positive run, winning their last three Championship fixtures against Sunderland, Leeds United and Middlesbrough.
Last time out, a 2-0 win over Boro came via goals for Michael Rose and Mehdi Léris.
Stoke City have won four of their seven home matches this season, a record that ranks 12th in the division.
OPPOSITION FOCUS | KEY PLAYER
Winger André Vidigal has impressed since making the move to Stoke City this summer from Portuguese side Marítimo.
The 25-year-old has netted four league goals for his new club, averaging a goal every 127 minutes, with a shot accuracy of 81%.
Vidigal made a dream start to life as a Potter by netting a brace on his debut against Rotherham United, before scoring the winner in a 1-0 victory over Watford.
CLUB CONNECTION | KENWYNE JONES
During an impressive career, striker Kenwyne Jones was both a Bluebird and a Potter.
Jones had two spells at Stoke City, firstly moving on loan from Southampton in 2005, where he netted three goals in 13 appearances.
After a three-year spell at Sunderland, the striker returned to the Potteries, amassing a record of 13 goals in 88 games between 2010 and 2014.
Jones became a Bluebird on 28th January 2014 and made a dream start in the Welsh capital, netting on his debut in a 2-1 win over Norwich City.
The striker went on to net a further 16 goals during his time at the Club, before moving to Atlanta United in 2016.