Good evening. Stoke City have seven games to try to stay in the Championship, and would ease a few nerves if they can get a result away to Wigan.
City have made a stuttering start since the Championship resumed – drawing 1-1 at Reading, but then going down 2-0 at home to Middlesbrough on Saturday. That has left them just two places and one point clear of the relegation zone.
So, they could do with a result, but that shouldn’t be beyond them. After all, they were in promotion form in 2020 before the season was suspended in March. Michael O’Neill had turned around a side that were rock bottom of the table when he was appointed in November.
After the Middlesbrough defeat he said it was never going to be straightforward guiding a team with that sort of record to safety. So, City have had a wobble, but can they recover and secure their Championship place, starting with a result at Wigan this evening?
It won’t be easy, in-form Wigan are up to 17th, having restarted their season with wins at Huddersfield and at home to Blackburn.
Williams goes into the book for a trip on Thompson as the Stoke man was breaking from just outside his own area.
Long ball is brought down by Vokes. McClean picks up the second ball, gets to the edge of the area and rifles a left foot shot not far over.
Liam Lawrence says former Port Vale midfielder Sam Morsy is running the show at the moment. He says Stoke have to so better.
More good football from Wigan as they move the ball into the area before winning a corner.
But Stoke have had the best chance, with Collins’ header wide. In fact, they have arguably had the second-best chance as well, with Vokes’ header well saved.
Williams’ inswinging free kick is pinched out for a corner by Butland. The inswinging corner is headed clear by McClean at the far post.
Good point by our man Pete Smith who says Stoke are looking dangerous from set pieces but Wigan are the more threatening in open play.
Stoke half clear the corner. The ball is worked back in but Balogun snatches at a shot from the edge of the area and sends his volley well over.
Wigan get down Stoke’s left again. the ball pings around the area before it’s blocked for a corner.
My word, I thought Stoke had scored there. Thompson’s corner was driven in, finding Collins’ run. he got ahead of his marker but put his header well wide just as we were waiting for the net to bulge.
Lowe is causing Stoke problems but McClean does well to track back and win the ball. That’s better from Stoke.
City win a free kick wide on the right. Thompson’s inswinger is met by Sam Vokes with a downward header well saved by Marshall to his left.
Wigan are causing all sorts of problems down Stoke’s left. They do it again as the ball flashes low across the area.
Wigan moving the ball well, and create a chance as the ball is worked to Jamal Lowe on the right of the area. He fires low but wide of the near post and into the side netting.
The home side have started well,and threaten with a ball over the top, but Butland is quickly off his line to smother the shot.
In case you haven’t seen it: Davies, Chester, Smith, Martins-Indi, Diouf, Gregory, Oakley-Boothe, Campbell, Sorensen.
By the way, if that’s not the president of the United States and is, in fact, a Wigan season-ticket holder from Skelmersdale who bears an uncanny resemblance, then apologies sir.
World news – GB – Wigan v Stoke City Live: Team news and updates as City make six changes