Meet the opposition | Stoke City
As Swansea City prepare to travel to the bet365 Stadium for their next league game, we look at the history of Stoke City, how they are shaping up this season, and the key figures for the Potters.
WHAT'S THEIR STORY?
Stoke were initially established in 1863 as Stoke Ramblers, a team largely made up of local railway workers.
Affectionately known as the Potters, they became Stoke Football Club in 1878 before becoming Stoke City in 1925. They are one of the founder members of the Football League.
Under the guidance of Tony Waddington they won their only major honour when they defeated Chelsea to win the League Cup in 1972.
They also enjoyed great success under Tony Pulis, who led them to the Premier League, an FA Cup final, which they lost to Manchester City in 2011, and European qualification.
However, the Potters have been in the second tier since 2018, having been relegated from the top-flight in the same season as the Swans.
HOW'S THEIR FORM?
Stoke took one win from their opening five league games and went out of the League Cup to Morecambe on penalties.
However, they returned to winning ways at the weekend with a 1-0 victory over Blackburn at Ewood Park and they will look to back that up with a new man at the helm for the first time on Wednesday.
WHO'S THE GAFFER?
Alex Neil. A former midfielder, Neil was appointed Stoke boss over the weekend following the departure of Michael O’Neill from the bet365 Stadium.
Neil started his managerial career at Scottish side Hamilton Academical in 2013, having skippered them when former Swans assistant Billy Reid held the managerial reins.
He went on to be appointed as player-manager on an interim basis and led the club to promotion back to the Scottish Premier League in his first full season in charge.
Neil took charge of Norwich City in January 2015 and enjoyed a phenomenal first few months in charge, leading the Canaries to promotion to the top-flight with a play-off final victory over Middlesbrough.
However, their time in the top-flight lasted less than 12 months as they suffered relegation in the following season.
He left Carrow Road and was appointed as Preston manager in July 2017 and had the Lilywhites challenging for a play-off spot for the majority of his time at Deepdale.
He departed the Lancashire club in 2021, and a year later took the reins at Sunderland to guide the Black Cats back to the Championship via the play-offs.
WHO'S THE CAPTAIN?
Midfielder Lewis Baker has taken the captaincy for the 2022-23 season after the departure of Joe Allen over the summer to the Swans. Baker, a Chelsea academy product joined the club in January on a free transfer, ending an incredible 17-year association with the Blues.
During that time, he had loan spells at various clubs in the English Championship, Dutch, German and Turkish Leagues.
WHO ARE THE KEY MEN?
Striker Jacob Brown was Stoke’s top scorer last term as he racked up 13 goals and four assists, and he has already found the net twice this term. The Potters also added Dwight Gayle and Liam Delap to their attacking options over the summer.
Former Swansea loan man Ben Wilmot has proved a reliable and versatile performer at the back since joining the Potters, and is effective in both boxes at set-pieces.
Skipper Baker is an important figure in the centre of the park and he also has a brace of goals to his name already this campaign.