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Jan 22, 2022 at 3pm UK
StokeStoke City
Wright-Phillips (1'), Baker (58')
Brown (39'), Harwood-Bellis (79')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Muniz (2'), Carvalho (33'), Reid (72')

Preview: Stoke City vs. Fulham - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Stoke City vs. Fulham - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Stoke City and Fulham, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Leaders Fulham make the trip to the bet365 Stadium to face Stoke City looking to continue their remarkable scoring record in the Championship.

While the Cottagers hold a five-point lead at the top of the standings, Stoke are four points adrift of the playoffs with a game in hand.

Match preview

On the back of one win in six matches, which came by a 1-0 scoreline after extra time in the FA Cup, describing Fulham's attack as goal-shy would have been an understatement.

The turnaround in form has barely been believable, Marco Silva's team netting 19 times in three Championship fixtures against Reading, Bristol City and Birmingham City.

The Portuguese will be disappointed with four strikes being shipped in the latter of those fixtures, but it is arguably irrelevant given the output of the front four.

Perhaps the most impressive factor of their 6-2 win over Blues was neither Harry Wilson or Aleksandar Mitrovic got on the scoresheet, youngster Fabio Carvalho instead taking centre stage with a double.

While Silva will insist that there is a long way to go, Fulham are now playing with a swagger which does not look like disappearing anytime soon, something which will naturally concern an inconsistent Stoke side.

Michael O'Neill has been left frustrated with his team's results this season, a run of four defeats in six matches seeing Stoke move outside of the playoffs.

However, the Potters were deserved 2-0 winners at Hull City last weekend, their goals coming from Jacob Brown and a rejuvenated Tom Ince.

With an array of fresh faces moving to the bet365 Stadium, there is now a different feel to this squad, and each of the new arrivals will want to impress in a game of this magnitude.

Stoke have gone 11 matches without conceding more than two goals in a match, a streak which will surely come under threat on Saturday.

Stoke City Championship form:
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W

Stoke City form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Fulham Championship form:
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Fulham form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Having sprung a number of surprises with his team selection last week, O'Neill may stick with the Stoke XI which started against Hull.

That is dependent on Josh Tymon shaking off a knock, while the likes of Ben Wilmot, Jordan Thompson and Mario Vrancic are pushing for a return to the substitutes' bench.

D'Margio Wright-Phillips appears likely to keep his place in attack ahead of Tyrese Campbell and Steven Fletcher.

Barring any unforeseen selection issues, Silva is expected to name the same Fulham starting lineup from the Birmingham game.

A number of players were handed a rest during the closing stages, while the backline should remain the same despite their under-par performances over the past week.

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Bonham; Harwood-Bellis, Jagielka, Chester; Smith, Ince, Allen, Clucas, Tymon; Brown, Wright-Phillips

Fulham possible starting lineup:
Rodak; Odoi, Adarabioyo, Ream, Robinson; Cairney, Reed; Wilson, Carvalho, Kebano; Mitrovic

We say: Stoke City 0-2 Fulham

Regardless of who they are playing, it is simply not realistic to back against Fulham in second-tier action right now. While we feel that Stoke will put up a stronger fight than Fulham's previous opponents, we still expect another three points for the West Londoners.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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