Stoke City were forced to settle for a point in their clash with Preston North End at Deepdale last night.
The Potters opened the scoring in the sixth minute of this showdown as Nick Powell headed home from Josh Tymon’s cross.
Undeterred by this setback, Preston levelled proceedings in spectacular fashion as Ben Whiteman curled a free-kick past Stoke goalkeeper Adam Davies.
Following the break, the Potters failed to break down a resilient Preston side despite having 59% possession in this fixture.
With the dust having now settled from this particular showdown, here are THREE things that we clearly learnt about Stoke after their 1-1 draw with Preston…
Nick Powell could play a crucial role for Stoke as they eye a promotion push
After scoring for Stoke in their clash with Hull City last weekend, Powell took his overall goal-tally for the season to five in all competitions by netting in yesterday’s meeting with Preston.
An incredibly talented player, the 27-year-old is currently averaging an impressive WhoScored match rating of 7.31 in the Championship.
Providing that Powell is able to maintain his form as well as his fitness in the coming months, he could potentially help Stoke launch a push for promotion.
Stoke will need improve defensively if they are to achieve a great deal of success this season
Although it is abundantly clear that Stoke are improving under the guidance of Michael O’Neill, they still need to address their defensive issues if they are to achieve a relative amount of success at this level.
The Potters have conceded in seven of their 10 league fixtures this season which is a concerning statistic.
In order to force their way into contention for a top-six finish in the Championship, Stoke will need to stop making defensive errors.
The Potters will need to be more clinical in-front of goal during their upcoming clashes
After taking the lead in yesterday’s clash, Stoke failed to extend their advantage at Deepdale as Preston eventually netted an equaliser in-front of their own supporters.
The Potters will unquestionably need to be more clinical in-front of goal in their upcoming clashes against West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United.
O’Neill will be hoping that the likes of Powell and Sam Surridge will step up to the mark for his side as they look to clinch victories in both of these aforementioned fixtures.