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Few people could argue with the standard of Stoke’s business during the January transfer window as Michael O’Neill attempted to shake the club into action.
Initially, it appeared that a revival was very much on the cards, but Stoke have failed to win any of their last four matches since a 3-0 victory over Swansea City.
The Potters, who have now prevailed in just two of their last 12 fixtures, are now down in 15th position, realistically needing to win 10 of their remaining 13 games to stay in the playoff hunt.
Stoke gave a solid account of themselves in the FA Cup fifth round on Tuesday, but the 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace was their third reverse by that scoreline in a row.
The Staffordshire outfit have lost four of their last six fixtures at the bet365 Stadium having previously only suffered two setbacks in 11 attempts.
Stoke will have to make do without defender Morgan Fox, who is serving a suspension for his red card against Bournemouth last weekend.
Neil Critchley has worked wonders at Bloomfield Road, but both he and his squad share a desire to really kick on, starting by achieving a top-10 finish after they were previously fancied for relegation.
Blackpool have scored in each of their last 12 matches in the Championship, although that still only gives them the joint 15th-best attacking record.
Shayne Lavery scored his eighth Championship goal of the campaign last weekend to make him the leading marksman for the Seasiders.
Josh Tymon should feature at left wing-back in his place, but the Potters are boosted by the return of Lewis Baker after he was cup-tied for the Palace match.
Jacob Brown is expected to start in attack alongside one of Nick Powell, Josh Maja or Tyrese Campbell.
Lavery is in line to return to the Blackpool XI, possibly getting the nod over Jerry Yates.
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Barring any fitness issues, the rest of the team should stay the same with Critchley’s team having had a spare midweek.
Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Bonham; Moore, Jagielka, Harwood-Bellis; Smith, Allen, Baker, Thompson, Tymon; Brown, Powell
Blackpool possible starting lineup:
Grimshaw; Lawrence-Gabriel, Ekpiteta, Thorniley, Sterling; Bowler, Dougall, Stewart, Hamilton; Yates, Madine