Predicted Stoke City line-up to face Preston in the Championship
The 1-1 draw against Brentford last week has left Stoke with just a point in the opening two games and manager Gary Rowett will be itching to get his first win as the Potters boss.
Bruno Martins Indi suffered an injury in the first half against Brentford and it remains to be seen if he is fit to face Preston.
Deadline day signing Sam Clucas is still a few weeks away from being ready to feature in a game. Clucas is not the only man who will be unavailable for the Preston clash as Stoke will also be without Maxim Choupo-Moting and Giannelli Imbula, who are both training with the under-23 side as they look to regain full fitness.
Meanwhile, Saido Berahino provided a boost by returning to the bench against Brentford.
Probable Stoke City XI
Manager: Gary Rowett
Jack Butland (GK)
Butland has been a reliable presence in goal for Stoke and should retain his place on Saturday. However, he will have a tough task against an in-form Preston side.
Moritz Bauer (RB)
Being an attacking full-back, Bauer’s positioning remains questionable at times. He needs to do better defensively and learn to cross the ball earlier.
Ryan Shawcross (CB)
Shawcross has been solid at the heart of the backline for his side and should retain his place for this game.
Ashley Williams (CB)
Martins Indi was forced off in Brentford game and that could see Ashley Williams starting his first game for Stoke.
Erik Pieters (LB)
Pieters has not been effective on the attacking front but has been solid at the back for the Potters.
Darren Fletcher (CM)
Fletcher adds balance to the Stoke midfield and his composed presence makes him a sure starter at the weekend.
Joe Allen (CM)
Allen has been a reliable player for Stoke and always looks solid in the middle of the park.
Tom Ince (RW)
Ince is always a threat going forward but he needs to bring consistency to his game. His talent has never been in question but his application often is.
Bojan brings creativity and incisiveness to Stoke’s attack and he could help Rowett’s men pick up more than just a point from this fixture.
James McClean (LW)
McClean is a workhorse always determined to put up a fight until the final blow of the whistle. Always looks tricky when he gets hold of the ball but needs to improve his final product.
Read more: Brilliant Butland, Poor McClean – The best and the worst rated Stoke players vs Brentford
Benik Afobe (ST)
Afobe scored against Brentford last weekend and will be looking to build on that performance. He has been effective in front of goal and should lead the line for his side against Preston.