2 selection dilemmas Alex Neil has as Stoke City prepare for Burnley visit | OneFootball

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Football League World

·3 October 2022

2 selection dilemmas Alex Neil has as Stoke City prepare for Burnley visit

Article image:2 selection dilemmas Alex Neil has as Stoke City prepare for Burnley visit

Stoke City returned a pretty poor performance yesterday afternoon as Watford ran out 4-0 winners at the Bet 365 Stadium.

Alex Neil’s side displayed brief moments of positivity, however, it was, on the whole, a disappointing performance immediately after the international break.

The relentless nature of the Championship means that the Potters are back in action on Wednesday, with the Staffordshire club set to travel to Burnley.

Whilst we wait for that game to be played, here, we take a look at two selection dilemmas that Neil has ahead of what is likely to be a tough trip to Lancashire…

Does Harry Clarke return to the starting XI?

Harry Clarke made a positive start to the Championship campaign, however, an injury ahead of matchday three, confined him to a spell on the sidelines.

Coming on for the last 13 minutes against Watford yesterday, Clarke could be handed a start against the Clarets, especially after Tarique Fosu’s defensive difficulties at the weekend.

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Article image:2 selection dilemmas Alex Neil has as Stoke City prepare for Burnley visit

Erik Pieters

Yes No

Clarke is a player that has proven to meet the defensive demands in the second tier already this season, whilst he has also offered an attacking service.

A reshuffle of the defence could be on the cards come Wednesday evening, something that could pave the way for Clarke’s return.

Connor Taylor or Phil Jagielka starts?

It was the midfield battle that was particularly one-sided on Sunday, but a lack of midfield options means it will be difficult for Neil to enforce changes.

The defence was also tested a lot during the 90 minutes, with there being potential for Phil Jagielka or Connor Taylor to be handed minutes from the start against The Hornets.

Taylor provides a more youthful and athletic option for Neil to have a think about, whilst Jagielka’s experience and defensive intelligence make him a valuable option.

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