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First Team

2019/20 Sky Bet Championship Guide: Stoke City

The Potters prepare for a first full season under Nathan Jones

16 June 2019

Stoke City 2018/19

League Position: 16th (17/18 19th in Premier League - relegated)

Average league attendance: 25,200 (29,280 in 17/18) 

Top league goalscorer: Benik Afobe (8)

One of the pre-season promotion favourites, The Potters barely laid a glove on the Sky Bet Championship promotion race last season, spending much of the season in the lower reaches of the table under Gary Rowett and then Nathan Jones. 

Goalscoring proved to be the big issue for Stoke over the course of the season. The Potters netted just 45 times in the league, only Bolton Wanderers and Ipswich Town scored fewer, on their way to 11 league wins. They also failed to score more than twice in any league game last term. That lack of goals also led to a league high 22 draws.

Appointed last May, Gary Rowett only lasted until January before he was replaced by former Luton Town manager Nathan Jones. Under the Welshman, Stoke only won three games, however they also only lost five games during that same 20-game run. 

The Ground

bet365 Stadium

Miles from Brentford: 163

Capacity: 30,089

Address: Stanley Matthews Way, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 4EG

Directions to Stoke City

The Manager

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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, and assembled the squad which made it back-to-back promotions last month. 

The Key Man

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Joe Allen - 2018/19 46 appearances, 6 goals

Industrious in the heart of Stoke's midfielder, Joe Allen started every one of The Potters' league outings last season. He popped up with six goals too, including the winner against his former employers Swansea City. The Welsh international ended the season in the top 15 for completed passes and second in the league for tackles made. 

Last Meeting

Head to Head

Brentford wins: 5

Draws: 8

Stoke City wins: 12

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