Meet the opposition | Stoke City
As Swansea City get set to head to the bet365 Stadium on Tuesday night (7.45pm), we take a closer look at Stoke City.
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?
Not what they would like it to be. The Potters have been right in the play-off mix for most of the season, but a run of two wins in their last 10 games has seen them fall away from the top six.
That 10-match sequence has included six defeats, and they are now without a home league win since November 20 with Fulham, Preston and Derby among those to take three points home from the Potteries recently.
Who’s the boss?
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?
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 203 total appearances for the Potters, scoring 20 goals.
Who are the key men?
Midfielder Jacob Brown has been enjoying a fine season, and is the Potters topscorer with eight goals to his name, while he has also created five goals with assists.
Wales international James Chester and ex-Everton man Phil Jagielka bring vast experience and reading of the game to the Stoke defence, while former Norwich midfielder Mario Vrancic provides creativity and guile in the centre of the park.
Stoke have a number of forward options to call upon, including the likes of Nick Powell Steven Fletcher, Tyrese Campbell and recent signing Josh Maja.