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Stoke City vs Wycombe Wanderers
Saturday 6th March 2021, k.o. 3pm GMT
The bet365 Stadium
Sky Bet Championship
A gruelling sequence of fixtures has taken its toll on both of these sides, who between them have faced all of the top four over the past week and come away empty-handed, heightening the need for points to be added to their respective tallies this weekend.
Stoke's win in the reverse fixture at Adams Park in December - the first match attended by fans this season - bore all the hallmarks of a promotion-chasing side: defensively sound, clinical up-front, and well-organised.
But Michael O'Neill's side - now in the 11th place - have only won four of their 19 matches since then, and lost each of the last three, going down to a dubiously-awarded penalty in stoppage time against Swansea in midweek.
Wycombe collected deserved victories over Huddersfield and Reading in recent weeks, but found Norwich and Watford too strong in their last two outings, and can't lose faith in their survival efforts as they return to Stoke for the first time since being hammered 5-1 20 years ago.
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Last Time Out
Here are the highlights from the 1-0 win for the Potters at Adams Park:
Joe Jacobson returned at left-back in midweek with Jordan Obita sidelined through injury, but there are no fresh injuries, giving Gareth Ainsworth food for thought with his starting XI.
Stoke defender Danny Batth suffered a head wound in midweek and will be assessed, but James McClean, Sam Clucas, Morgan Fox, Nathan Collins and Tyrese Campbell are definitely out. Rabbi Matondo could return after injury.
Wanderers will be in their first-choice light and dark blue quarters.
Man in the Middle
Andy Woolmer has shown 69 yellow cards and just one red in his 24 games so far this season; he's overseen 11 Wanderers fixtures in his career, but none since a 1-0 win over Stevenage in 2016. There've been 12 yellow cards, no reds, and one penalty in those games.
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