Stoke City have not won a competitive match since defeating Walsall in their very first pre-season friendly. That’s a winless streak of eight games which Gary Rowett’s side will try to put an end to on Wednesday night against League One champions Wigan. The contest at Stoke’s Bet365 Stadium will kick off at 21:00 CET.
Gary Rowett had this to say about the team’s current state of affairs.
“We want to be sitting here with at least a couple of wins, but we aren’t and we’ve got to deal with that and improve.
“You have to navigate poor periods. You don’t want it to be at the start, but it is and we know we have to perform better and then confidence will follow.”
The Potters survived the off-season without any significant squad losses. Rowett managed to keep the majority of what is a talented roster, with Xherdan Shaqiri and Ramadan Sobhi being the only notable departures. However, he hasn’t been able to get rid of the losing mentality yet.
Wigan keeps jumping up and down England’s second and third divisions. Their return to the higher tier has been less than stellar. It started well with a first-round victory over Sheffield Wednesday, but then a painful 3-2 loss to Aston Villa (Bjarnason scored in stoppage time) was followed by a Carabao Cup elimination by Rotherham and a 2-2 draw versus Nottingham Forest in which the visitors tied the game in injury time again. Paul Cook’s side will be looking to prevent another tough week behind with a good result at Stoke.
Stoke City – Wigan Bet365 Odds
Believe it or not, Stoke hasn’t won one single home game since January. Meanwhile, Wigan has won four of their last five away league matches on a Wednesday. Both teams are better than their results suggest and that should eventually show.
Player to watch: Nick Powell
Wigan’s forward has scored three and assisted on two other goals to begin the season. The Manchester United’s academy graduate has always been talented and could be one of Championship’s best players this season if things fall into place.
Stoke City – Wigan Team News
Cuco Martina is set to make his Stoke debut after coming over on a season-long loan from Everton. Bruno Martins Indi is doubtful with an Achilles tendon injury.
Darron Gibson, Dan Burn and Joe Garner remain on the sidelines for the visitors, whereas winger Gavin Massey and Nathan Byrne are fit and ready to go.