High flying Stoke City welcome Barnsley to the Bet365 Stadium on Wednesday with a win potentially taking them to the summit of the Championship.
Former England international Micky Gray had some strong opinions about the game when he spoke to Betfred this afternoon.
He said: “They’re (Stoke) going to push Fulham and West Brom, in my eyes, all the way because I think the squad looks really healthy.
“Stoke look really strong and I can see them winning this game comfortably.”
“I’m going to go 2-0.”
Barnsley have looked a shadow of the side who stormed their way into the play-offs last season under Valerien Ismael. Particularly struggling going forward under Markus Schopp, posting the worst expected goals for numbers in the division.
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The Potters have won all three of their home games so far, all by one goal, and will be hoping to make the Bet365 a fortress in their promotion push this season.
The Tykes cannot continue to be this toothless in front of goal, outside of the significant losses of Alex Mowatt and Conor Chaplin this is largely the same team that finished fifth compared to Stoke’s 14th last season. All three home wins so far coming by a one goal margin is not sustainable for the Potters and therefore Barnsley cannot be written off.
Gray is bullish about Michael O’Neill’s men keeping up their momentum on Wednesday evening and it would be a statement for them to break back into the automatic promotion places. They were a little fortunate to get past Huddersfield Town 2-1 last time out, with a bizarre Matty Pearson own goal the decisive moment on the day where they created very few opportunities from open play.
The Tykes will want to drag themselves away from the early relegation conversation at the Bet365 and their high octane style could be a lot to handle for the Potters with the quick turnaround. This fixture is more evenly matched than Gray is making out.