Stoke – Preston Predictions
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Stoke 1-2 Preston
Date: 03.01.2022 | Match at: 16:00 | League: ENGLAND: Championship – Round 26 | Tip: Over 1.5 Goals | Odds: 1.43 | Bookie: Unibet.
Stoke – Preston Match Preview
- Playing for the first time in nearly three weeks due to COVID-19 postponements, Stoke City ended 2021 by slumping to a 2-1 loss against basement club Derby County. That result made it just four points across their last five Championship matches (W1, D1, L3) – a run that has left the ‘Potters’ four points behind the top six, as a pile-up of rearranged fixtures looms.
- Ahead of this round, only nine clubs have scored fewer goals than Stoke’s return of 27, and this has affected home form for the worse, with Stoke recording just one win across their previous six Championship home games (W1, D2, L3). Ominously, Stoke have also lost without reply in their last three opening matches to a calendar year when playing at home.
- Out of action since December 11 due to postponements in their own schedule, Preston North End have struggled to beat the mid-table blues of late. Yet, a return of two wins from their last four Championship games (W2, D1, L1) gives hope to new boss Ryan Lowe.
- Lowe has a legacy to uphold, as the last five permanent Preston managers have avoided defeat in their first away league game in charge. The visitors have also lost only once across their last eight away league games against Stoke (W2, D5), fuelling belief that they can win back-to-back Championship games for just the third time this season.
- Players to watch: Stoke will hope that Mario Vrančić can get on the scoresheet, as each of his last three Championship strikes have come in 2-0 wins. Meanwhile, Daniel Johnson scored one and assisted another in Preston’s most recent win, and he will again be focal, as they aim to cauterise a preceding run of four straight losses in the first league game of a calendar year.
- Hot stat: Twelve of Stoke’s last 13 Championship matches have produced under 1.5 first-half goals.