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Match Previews

Match preview: Morecambe v Stoke City

9 August 2022

Derek Adams’ men host Stoke City at the Mazuma Stadium in Round One of the 2022/23 Carabao Cup.

The Shrimps enjoyed success at this stage of the competition last season, beating Sky Bet Championship side, and Lancashire Rivals, Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

Tyrhys Dolan’s 22nd minute opener was cancelled out by Cole Stockton seven minutes into the second-half, before an Adam Phillips penalty six minutes before time secured a famous win for Morecambe under the East Lancashire moonlight.

The Reds have succeeded in Round One of the Carabao Cup for the past three seasons, and will be hoping to extend this feat as Michael O’Neill’s Stoke City make the journey to the Mazuma.

The Opposition

The Potters reached Round Four of the competition last season, beating Fleetwood Town, Doncaster Rovers and Watford, before being knocked out by Premier League side Brentford.

Looking at their start to the 2022/23 league season, City have won one and lost one, both by two-goals-to-nil, against Blackpool and Millwalll respectively.

Stoke managed to win the League Cup towards the end of the 1971/72 season, after seeing off Chelsea by two-goals-to-one at Wembley, eclipsing their efforts in 1963/64 campaign, where they lost in the Final to Leicester City over two legs. 

Key Players

Centre-forward Dwight Gayle joined the Potters last month, and has featured in both of Stoke’s league games so far. The 32-year-old boasts a wealth of experience in English football, including 145 Premier League appearances for Newcastle United and Crystal Palace, with 26 top-flight goals to boot. Out of 288 professional career appearances, Gayle has netted 103 times and provided 30 assists.

Last year’s Player of the Year for Stoke City, striker Jacob Brown, scored 14 times in 52 appearances in all competitions, and setup five goals. As well as domestically, Brown landed on the international stage in November 2021, where he made his debut for Scotland in a 2-0 win over Moldova. Since then, the 24-year-old has made four further appearances for the Tartan Army. Brown’s experience, despite his young age, would be capable of strengthening any side.

Towering defender Aden Flint arrived at Stoke in the summer following a spell with Cardiff City. Standing at 6ft 5-and-a-half, the 33-year-old’s aerial ability can prove tricky for opposition strikers to deal with. With an impressive 465 professional career appearances to-date, as well as a taste of international football with England C, the Potters will be sure to benefit from Flint’s experience as the campaign progresses.

Shrimps’ pre-match thoughts

Ahead of the fixture, Derek Adams says he’s expecting a strong test from the Potters, regardless of what starting XI they field.

He said: “We obviously think they’ll change their squad about a bit from Saturday, they haven’t got as big a squad as some Championship teams so they might not make as many changes as people expect.

“They’ve got a strong bench, I would expect some of them to play, we see from Saturday the patterns of play, the formation they’ve played in the first two games of the season, they’ve switched it about from the Millwall game to the Blackpool game to good effect.

“They’ve got an extremely strong outfit, a team that is obviously looking to get from the Championship back up to the Premier League and we understand that.

“It’s great for us, it’s the EFL Cup, we would like to try and progress to the next round.”

Potters’ pre-match thoughts

Ahead of their journey to North Lancashire, assistant manager Dean Holden says the starting XI selected will be one they believe can progress to the next stage of the competition.

“Players have been training well even if they haven’t had chance to play in the first team yet, so they will get opportunities tomorrow,” he told Stoke's official website. 

“It will still be a team we believe can go there and win the game, that’s the most important thing.

“There are a couple of knocks from Saturday, so it’s not so much about resting players at this point in the season, it’s about distributing game time for when those players will be needed.

“It’s always been a squad game so it’s important when we get an opportunity everyone gets minutes under their belts.”

Meet the Officials 

Andy Haines will be the man in the middle on Tuesday night, and will be assisted by Helen Edwards and Paul Newhouse, with Alex Gray taking the role of Fourth Official.

Haines, based in Tyne-and-Wear, has taken charge of two League One fixtures so far this season, and has distributed six yellow cards and one red.

Last campaign, he took charge of Morecambe on two occasions – in the Club’s 1-0 Papa John’s Trophy home defeat against Everton U21s and our 2-2 home draw against Charlton Athletic in League One.

iFollow

After teaming up with Beyond Radio for the 2022/23 season, supporters will be able to listen to exclusive, full and uninterrupted radio commentary of every single game, home and away, which will be broadcast simultaneously on 103.5FM, 107.5FM and DAB+ digital radio across North Lancashire and South Cumbria as well as on the iFollow Shrimps platform.

Audio passes are available from as little as £2.50 per match, £4.49 for a monthly pass or £45 for a season pass.

As well as full match commentary, the ‘Shrimps Verdict’ podcast will be available post-match, featuring online, on demand content, including audio match highlights, post-match interviews and reaction, and much more!


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