Meet the Opposition | Stoke City

16th August 2021
First team
Korey Smith

We take a closer look at Stoke City ahead of the Jacks' clash with the Potters on Tuesday evening.

What's their story?

Stoke boast a long and prestigious history having been one of the 12 founder members of the Football League in 1888, having originally been founded in 1863.

The club’s honours include two Second Division titles (1932-33, 1962-63), two Third Division titles (1926-27, 1992-93), one League Cup (1971-72) and two Football League Trophies (1991-92, 1999-00).

They were FA Cup finalists in 2011 and are in their fourth season back in the Championship after a 10-year stint in the Premier League ended with relegation in 2018.

How's their form?

Ryan Manning


The Potters have made an unbeaten start to the new season, having beaten Reading and drawn with Birmingham in their two league fixtures to date.

They also reached the second round of the Carabao Cup with a 2-1 win over Fleetwood, with former Swansea striker Sam Surridge on the scoresheet in their pair of victories.

This comes after they won just one of their last seven games at the conclusion of the 2020-21 campaign.

Who's the boss?

Michael O'Neill of Stoke City.

Michael O’Neill began his coaching career with Scottish Second Division side Brechin City in 2006, before taking over at Shamrock Rovers in 2008.

He became Northern Ireland boss in 2011 and enjoyed a long and successful tenure, including leading them to the last-16 of Euro 2016, where they lost to Wales.

In 2019, O’Neill replaced Nathan Jones as Stoke boss, saving them from relegation in his first campaign and building them towards a potential promotion push this term.

In his 20-year playing career, O’Neill played in Northern Ireland, England (Newcastle United, Coventry City, Reading and Wigan), Scotland, and the United States. He also represented his country 31 times at international level.

Who's the captain?

Captain, Joe Allen for Stoke City.

Following the departure of longstanding skipper Ryan Shawcross, ex-Swansea City midfielder Joe Allen was named captain ahead of this season.

Wales international Allen began his career in Swansea City’s youth programme, before being called up to the senior squad and making his debut as a 16-year-old in 2007.

He was named Wales’ Player of the Year in 2012 and joined Premier League giants Liverpool that same year, before making the move to Stoke City four years later, in 2016.

Allen has made 177 total appearances for the Potters, scoring 20 goals and registering 18 assists.

Who wore both shirts?

Wilfried Bony playing for the Potters.

Wilfried Bony

Ivorian striker Wilfried Bony first arrived on Welsh shores in July 2013 for a then club-record fee of £12 million. Bony made an immediate impact for the Swans as he scored two goals on his competitive debut against Malmo FF in the Europa League.

The fan favourite gave the Swans their first-ever win at Old Trafford after scoring a 90th-minute header to send Swansea through to the fourth round of the FA Cup and finished the 2013-14 season with 25 goals.

He started the following season in superb form and, with 20 goals, Bony was the Premier League’s top scorer in the calendar year of 2014 before making his move to Manchester City in January of the following year.

Bony was loaned to the Potters during his time at City. After going seven matches without a goal, he scored twice in a 3–1 victory over the Swans, before eventually returning to SA1 from the Etihad Stadium ahead of the 2017-18 season.

Sam Surridge for Swansea City.

Sam Surridge

English striker Sam Surridge joined the Swans in the summer of 2019, on loan from AFC Bournemouth.

Before switching to South Wales, Surridge spent most of his Bournemouth career out on loan to gain first-team experience in the lower leagues, seeing action with clubs such as Yeovil Town and Oldham Athletic.

In his time in SA1, the forward made 23 appearances for the Swans, scoring seven times. Those goals included a brace in a 6-1 victory over Cambridge United in the Carabao Cup, and scoring a late goal in injury time to snatch all three points away to Wigan Athletic.

Surridge signed for the Potters earlier this month, on a four-year contract. Three days later, he scored on his debut as he netted the winning goal against Reading.