Stoke City will continue their preparations for the 2022-23 campaign with a pre-season friendly against League One outfit Accrington Stanley on Wednesday night.
The Potters beat Cork City 2-0 on Saturday in their first friendly of the summer, while Accrington have taken on Crystal Palace and Blackburn Rovers in their two pre-season friendlies.
Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman pictured in May 2021
Accrington finished 12th in League One last season, meaning that they will once again play in the third tier of English football next term, and it has been a busy summer thus far in terms of incomings and outgoings.
Shaun Whalley, Matt Lowe, Mo Sangare and Lukas Jensen have arrived at the club, while five players have moved on, including talented central defender Ross Sykes, who has made the move to Belgium.
Accrington opened their preparations for the 2022-23 campaign with a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace at the start of the month before playing two 60-minute games against Blackburn on Saturday, and they now have four more friendlies in the diary this summer.
Indeed, after facing Stoke, the League One club will take on Preston North End and Wigan Athletic before playing their final pre-season game against Sunderland on July 23.
John Coleman’s side will then open their League One season at home to Charlton Athletic on July 30, and they will be looking to push closer to the playoff positions next term, having been 22 points off sixth-place Wycombe Wanderers last term.
Stoke City manager Michael O’Neill on February 8, 2022
Stoke, meanwhile, played their first friendly of the summer on Saturday, recording a 2-0 victory over Cork City, with D’Margio Wright-Phillips and Jacob Brown on the scoresheet.
Summer signings Aden Flint, Josh Laurent and Harry Clarke all started against Cork, and the Potters now have four more pre-season clashes before facing Millwall in their Championship opener on July 30.
Stoke will take on Fleetwood Town, Bristol Rovers and Hearts in their three matches after this one, and head coach Michael O’Neill will hope to have more new faces through the door before the end of the month.
As well as Flint, Laurent and Clarke, Liam McCarron has also joined on a permanent basis from Leeds United, while Gavin Kilkenny has made the move to the club on loan from Bournemouth.
Stoke finished 14th in the Championship last season, some 13 points behind sixth-place Luton Town, and they will be expected to push higher up the division in 2022-23.
Accrington Stanley Club Friendlies 1 form:
Accrington Stanley form (all competitions):
Stoke City Club Friendlies 1 form:
Stoke City form (all competitions):
Stoke City’s Jacob Brown celebrates scoring their first goal on January 16, 2022
Accrington played two 60-minute games against Blackburn on Saturday, winning the first but losing the second, with new signing Lowe on the scoresheet for Stanley.
Jensen, who is on loan from Burnley, is expected to start between the sticks for the home side here, while it is also likely that a couple of players on trial will feature for the hosts.
Experienced forward Walley – another new signing at the club – could start in the final third of the field, while there is likely to be a spot in the side for Sean McConville.
As for Stoke, head coach O’Neill is again likely to start with a 3-5-2 formation, with new signings Flint, Laurent and Clarke all potentially keeping their spots in the XI.
O’Neill made changes at the interval and throughout the second half of the match with Cork and that is again expected to be the case in this contest.
Kilkenny and Jack Bonham could potentially come into the side, while Tom Sparrow and Jordan Thompson will also be pushing to be included in the team for the first whistle.
Accrington Stanley possible starting lineup:
Jensen; Patrick, Rogers, Procter, Rich-Baghuelou; Scully, Hamilton, Leigh; McConville, Whalley, Lowe
Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Bonham; Flint, Clarke, Wilmot; Duhaney, Thompson, Laurent, Kilkenny, Wright-Phillips; Brown, Campbell