Two bottom half teams looking to pull clear of the Premier League’s relegation dogfight meet tonight at the Britannia Stadium when Stoke City host Swansea. Coming off a weekend win over rival Cardiff City, the Swans will be looking to make it two in a row under interim boss Garry Monk, while Stoke City hope to prolong an upturn that started with a win over Manchester United and continued with this weekend’s draw at Southampton.
The match kicks off at 3:00 p.m. ET (pushed back 15 minutes due to weather), with streaming available via NBC Sports Live Extra.
On Saturday, Swansea played one of their most inspired matches of the season, breaking through soon after halftime en route to a 3-0 win in the South Wales Derby. Having fired Michael Laudrup earlier in the week, Swans were in danger of entering an uncertain time while venturing closer to the drop. Instead, the managerial change saw player-coach Monk, a long-time Swans defender, help guide the team to a decisive victory over the Bluebirds.
Thanks to two strong performances in a row, the Potters are experiencing an uptick of their own. This weekend, goals by Peter Crouch and the newly acquired Peter Odemwingie allowed Stoke to come back twice at St. Mary’s. The draw came on the heals of the home win over Manchester United, the team’s first victory over the Red Devils since joining the Premier League.
A victory for either team would allow that club to vault into the Premier League’s top half, though to do so, Swansea will have to overcome the continued absence of Jonjo Shelvey, who is recovering from a hamstring injury. Star attacker Michu continues to recovery from ankle surgery earlier this winter.
In contrast, Stoke will be fully healthy for tonight’s game, with Marko Arnautovic and Marc Wilson returning to full fitness.
Stoke City: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Whelan, Adam; Odemwingie, Walters, Arnautovic; Crouch
Subs: N’Zonzi, Guidetti, Palacios, Muniesa, Sørensen, Assaidi, Ireland
Swansea City: Vorm; Rangel, Flores, Williams, Davies; Cañas, Britton; Dyer, Hernández, Routledge; Bony
Subs: Emnes, de Guzman, Taylor, Amat, Vazquez, Tremmel, N’Gog