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Match Previews

Match Preview: Stoke City

Bees host Potters tomorrow

11 January 2019

The Bees host Stoke City in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday afternoon. Thomas Frank's squad head into the game with a draw and a win so far in 2019.

The Opposition

Relegation from the Premier League last season left Stoke the task of getting straight back up this term under Gary Rowett. His start to the season saw several arrivals and departures, a reported spend of over £30 million pounds adding up to high expectations in August. 

City struggled to get off to a flying start, drawing one of their early games with Brentford 1-1 at the bet365 Stadium. Defeats to Wigan Athletic, Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion also followed, leading Stoke off the pace as the Christmas period approached. Rowett was sacked this week with Nathan Jones coming in immediately from Luton Town as a replacement. 

During the summer transfer window, Peter Etebo (CD Feirense), James McClean (West Brom) and Tom Ince (Huddersfield) were the big names in the door. Sam Clucas also arrived from Swansea, while Ryan Woods made the switch from Brentford to ST4. The Potters also boosted their defensive line with the loan signing of Ashley Williams, who played against The Bees at the start of the campaign.

Stephen Ireland went the other way to Bolton Wanderers, goalkeeper Lee Grant making the switch to Manchester United. Xherdan Shaqiri was brought in by Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, with Marc Muniesa heading out to Girona.

Team News

Thomas Frank is still without Emiliano Marcondes, Marcus Forss and Lewis Macleod for the game this weekend but has welcomed Chris Mepham back in training this week. The centre-back will go through a late fitness test to check on his progress before tomorrow's match. 

Both Ryan Shawcross and Ryan Woods will need fitness tests after missing the weekend's FA Cup tie against Shrewsbury through illness. Woods confirmed his permanent move away from The Bees earlier this month. Joe Allen could be a doubt after he picked up a knock earlier in the week, that's still to be confirmed. 

The Manager

Nathan Jones takes charge of his first Stoke City match when they travel to Griffin Park this weekend. The Welshman left Luton Town in the week after almost exactly three years in charge of The Hatters. 

Jones made his start in coaching at Charlton Athletic with the youth teams there before jumping to a First Team role at Brighton & Hove Albion. In his playing days as a utility midfielder, Jones played for Albion for five years until he left for Yeovil Town. He made over 180 appearances in green hoops before embarking on a coaching career. 

A man building a sterling reputation for success in the lower leagues, Jones had his Luton side on top of League Two until the last few games in his first full season at the helm. Adding former Bee Alan McCormack the next summer paid off with some terrific midifeld displays and an opening day 8-2 victory over former employers Yeovil. He then got them promoted a year later, making huge changes to the squad and shaping them into an impressive unit capable of reaching the next tier.

Last Time Out

An Ollie Watkins goal was enough for Brentford to snatch a point from Stoke City away at the start of the season. Benik Afobe had given the home side the lead after a mix-up between Daniel Bentley and Chris Mepham.

Pre-Match Features

Hot Off The Press: Pete Smith takes us through Stoke encounter

Press Conference: Thomas Frank looking for strong Bees performance

Ref Watch: Tim Robinson in charge of Potters clash

Matchday Coverage

Mark Burridge presents Matchday Live from Griffin Park this weekend, alongside for Brentford player Marcus Gayle. Hear live commentary and build-up to the game from 2.30pm in West London.

Download the Official Brentford FC App to get notifications direct to your phone, plus all the latest news, views and reaction from the game. Visit the Play Store or iTunes App Store now to download. 

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