Stoke City will be looking to get back to winning ways in the Championship tomorrow when they face West Bromwich Albion at the bet365 Stadium.
The Potters were forced to settle for a point in their clash with Preston North End earlier this week as Nick Powell’s effort was cancelled out by a strike from Ben Whiteman.
Currently fifth in the Championship, Stoke will leapfrog Coventry City and Fulham in the league standings if they end West Brom’s unbeaten run on Friday.
Having witnessed his side’s performance against Preston, it will be intriguing to see whether O’Neill decides to make any alterations to his team for the club’s showdown with the Baggies.
Here, we take a look at TWO tweaks that the Stoke boss could make to his starting eleven tomorrow…
Nick Powell will be asked to play in a withdrawn role by O’Neill
When you consider that Stoke are set to be without Romaine Sawyers and Sam Clucas for this particular clash, Powell may be asked to play in the heart of midfield by O’Neill.
Sawyers is ineligible for this fixture due to the fact that he is on loan from West Brom whilst Clucas will serve a one-match suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in the Potters’ clash with Preston.
Whilst Powell has been extremely effective in his attacking role this season, there is no reason why he cannot influence the game from central-midfield.
Having already provided five direct goal contributions for Stoke in the Championship during the current campaign, Powell will fancy his chances of adding to this tally on Friday.
Sam Surridge is handed another chance to impress
If Powell does indeed drop into central-midfield, Sam Surridge may be given the opportunity to lead the line if O’Neill decides to play Jacob Brown on the wing.
Surridge has struggled for consistency since joining the Potters during the summer transfer window as he has only been able to find the back of the net on two occasions in 10 league appearances.
However, when you consider that West Brom will be looking to press Stoke in the final-third on Friday, Stoke could potentially benefit from Surridge’s presence up-front as they may be forced to play the ball long in this fixture.
If Surridge is able to deliver an impressive performance against the Baggies, he could potentially retain his place in the Potters’ side for the foreseeable future.