Alfie Doughty is back available for selection for Stoke City after a seven match lay off, just in time for the Potters’ trip to Bristol City.
The January 2021 signing gives a huge boost to Michael O’Neill’s men who have been very unfortunate with injuries in the last month or so. Josh Tymon was forced off in the second half of the club’s 2-0 win over Peterborough United on Saturday, an inconclusive scan means that he is a doubt for Wednesday evening’s clash with a final decision yet to be made.
The Stoke City club website published the update this afternoon, and also confirmed that though Sam Clucas and Abdallah Sima are nearing a return they will not be involved at Ashton Gate.
The Doughty news could be crucial because Morgan Fox looked like the most logical option to come in at left wing back for Tymon. Fox is a competent player at Championship level but may not be able to satisfy the attacking demands of the position, such that Doughty certainly can with his pace and trickery.
Fox may well still take his place in the starting XI as Doughty, who was ruled out for most of last season with a hamstring injury, has not yet managed a league start for the Potters since arriving from Charlton Athletic in January.
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Should Tymon not be available, it is a choice between two Addicks academy graduates to step into the void and though Fox provides the more defensively sound option, if possible Doughty is the most appropriate selection.
The 21-year-old is more of a winger where Fox could well become a specialist centre back in the next few years, it depends what way O’Neill is leaning but with specialist right back Tommy Smith on the other side it is an opportunity to go with a more attacking option off of the left flank.
Stoke will be hoping to continue their excellent recent form against a Bristol City side who would be firmly looking over their shoulders if it was not for other Championship sides suffering points deductions this season.