Afobe and Ince to start – Strongest 4-3-3 Stoke City line-up to face Brentford

Predicted Stoke City line-up to face Brentford in the Championship

Of all the recently relegated teams, Stoke City suffered the heaviest defeat on the opening day against Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United. The Peacocks ran riot against the Potters and manager Gary Rowett will be aiming for an improved performance against Brentford at the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday.

The Potters finished 19th in the Premier League last season, which was disappointing for their high standards. Brentford are on the back of a 5-1 thrashing of Rotherham United last week, which means Stoke will have to turn up guns blazing this weekend.

Probable Stoke City XI

Manager: Gary Rowett

Formation: 4-3-3

Jack Butland (GK)

Butland should start in goal. He is a top-class goalkeeper and there’s no reason why he’d be dropped.

Moritz Bauer (RB)

The Austrian international impressed after moving to Stoke last season. Now that he has settled in at the club, a key role is on the cards.

Ryan Shawcross (CB)

Stoke’s most reliable defender over the years will be crucial in their bid for Premier League return.

Ryan Shawcross
Ryan Shawcross

Martins Indi (CB)

The Dutch international has failed to live up to his high expectations but playing away from the spotlight should help him reignite his career.

Erik Pieters (LB)

Aged 30, Pieters has shown no signs of stopping anytime soon. He is a constant threat down the left flank.

Joe Allen (CM)

The Welshman is absolutely vital in the middle of the park with his distribution.

Badou Ndiaye (CM)

A tough-tackling midfielder who will provide the Potters with stability and cohesion in the middle of the park.

Bojan (CAM)

The Barcelona youth product looked lively and energetic after coming on as a sub last game. He should be given a central attacking role this time out.

Tom Ince (RW)

The former Huddersfield winger is a skilled player on the ball and his ability to unlock defences will certainly produce the goods for the Potters.

James McClean (LW)

McClean made the move from West Bromwich Albion this summer and has gotten off on the front foot immediately. A powerful attacker whose deliveries into the box will provide Stoke City with a number of chances to score.

Read more: 3 players Stoke City could look to sign before the transfer window deadline including this Derby star

Benik Afobe (ST)

Afobe scored on his competitive debut for the Potters last season. A clinical striker who is bound to deliver when provided with the right kind of supply.

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