Stoke City boss Michael O’Neill is facing an anxious wait to see if both Harry Souttar and Mario Vrancic will be fit for tomorrow night’s trip to Preston North End.
The injury list at the bet365 Stadium is mounting up right now with several first-team players confirmed to be on the sidelines already for the visit to Deepdale and beyond.
Joe Allen, Steven Fletcher, Abdallah Sima and Morgan Fox are all definite absentees but what O’Neill wouldn’t have wanted was for two more players to be potentially added to that growing list.
Following a weekend win over Hull though the Potters could be without Harry Souttar and Mario Vrancic against PNE.
Towering Australian international Souttar was withdrawn against the Tigers late in the second half whilst Vrancic also picked up a niggling problem during the second half and was substituted on 66 minutes.
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O’Neill will be hoping to count on both reliable players tomorrow but has admitted that there will be a wait to see if the duo are fully fit.
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“We’ll wait and see whether Harry can train today,” O’Neill said, per the Stoke Sentinal.
“He’s been with the medical team all morning. Mario similar but should be ok.
“We don’t really anticipate any of the ones who missed Saturday to be available just yet.
“We’ve got bodies, we’ve got cover if Harry isn’t available. We’ve obviously got cover in our squad to deal with that.”
Both Souttar and Vrancic would be massive misses if they were not to be available to face North End tomorrow evening.
It seems like Souttar is more of a doubt than Vrancic but even if there is an adequate replacement for the Aussie his absence would still be a blow.
For the most part the centre-back trio of Souttar, Ben Wilmot and Leo Ostigard have been incredibly solid and Souttar’s height means he’s a threat in both boxes.
Regardless O’Neill will believe he has enough strength to go to Deepdale and pick up three points but it won’t be an easy task with or without two of his key assets that are doubts.