Predicted lineup for Stoke C. Bristol City as Alex Neil considers five starting positionsity vs. Bristol City as Alex Neil considers five starting positions

As  prepares for their away Championship match against Bristol City, news from the bet365 Stadium

Alex Neil has pretty much five starting positions to weigh up as he prepares Stoke to take on Bristol City this weekend.

It would definitely be a surprise if the team was submitted without any of Mark Travers, Ki-Jana Hoever, Ben Wilmot, Ben Pearson, captain Josh Laurent or, if fit, Andre Vidigal. Sead Haksabanovic is almost in that category too while Neil has given Michael Rose and Wilmot a chance to strike up a partnership in defence and Lynden Gooch pencilled in at left-back in Enda Stevens’ absence, as long as Stoke stay with a back four, although cup-tied Junior Tchamadeu is available again.

So six probable starters and at least three more good bets. But how exactly he lines up the midfield and forward line remains to be seen. Jordan Thompson was one of Stoke’s better players at Bournemouth when he got the nod alongside Pearson as two holding players. Laurent and Daniel Johnson have both been used as the more attacking midfielder in recent weeks – and Johnson’s versatility hasn’t stopped there. Stoke have largely been better when he’s been on the pitch.

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Wouter Burger will be assessed after tweaking a hamstring against Hull last Sunday while Bae Junho, Haksabanovic and Vidigal are also options as a number 10.

Vidigal took a break at Bournemouth after returning from injury a little earlier than expected last weekend. He has been Stoke’s top goal threat this season, and Neil needs to figure out where to best utilise him, especially with Ryan Mmaee and Tyrese Campbell still out injured and leading the line.

Wesley has likely played in more games than he anticipated in the first few weeks. In a mid-week cameo, Dwight Gayle was animated, while Nathan Lowe—who turned 18 this week—performed admirably as a replacement. Mehdi Leris is also capable of playing a variety of roles.

Travers, Hoever, Gooch, Wilmot, Rose, Pearson, Laurent, Johnson, Haksabanovic, Vidigal, and Gayle were the expected starting lineup for Stoke against Bristol City.

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