Crawley vs Stoke Preview: Crawley Search for Another Giant Killing
Crawley ousted Premier League side Norwich from the EFL Cup last month, and Gabriele Cioffi’s men will see this as the perfect opportunity to rack up a second successive giant-killing.
Stoke have struggled so far in the Championship, and with a tough against Nottingham Forest on Friday night, Nathan Jones is expected to make a number of changes.
Crawley vs Stoke Preview – 24/09/19: Carabao Cup
Bez Lubala has been a revelation this season, and it was the former Birmingham man’s goal which sent the Red Devils through to the third round. Norwich commanded 75% possession in that and outshot the hosts 22-10, but the Crawley rearguard remained resolute, and they are likely to take a similar approach here.
There was also an element of luck, with the Canaries rattling the woodwork on two occasions, and missing a number of big opportunities, although Stoke haven’t been particularly prolific when it comes to converting their chances this season.
The Potters sit bottom of the Championship, although they did pick up a rare clean sheet at the weekend. They’ve conceded 17 goals despite facing just 36 shots so far this campaign. At the other end of the field, they’ve failed to convert with just 3 of their 11 shots per game landing on target, resulting in just 0.75 goals per game.
Nathan Jones has tinkered with his squad multiple times this season, and there is every chance that he will continue to mix things up here. The Welshman has enjoyed relative success in this competition so far with victories over Championship opposition in Wigan and Leeds (on pens).
How many changes will Stoke make?
In the previous round of the competition, Nathan Jones unleashed Tyrese Campbell and the strike could be in line for a start once again. He enjoyed a decent return on loan at Shrewsbury last season, and his energy could catch the Crawley defence out.
The lesser-spotted Nick Powell may play some part in this game whilst Jordan Cousins will surely fancy another run-out. Mark Duffy’s game-time has been limited since he arrived at the club, and the Sheffield United loanee could get s start here. Adam Federici is likely to start between the sticks.
Tommy Smith and Ryan Woods were both regular starters during the early part of the season, and they could make a re-appearance here.
Can Crawley upset the Odds?
Crawley will be hoping to emulate their success against Norwich, and they are extremely tough to beat at home. Crewe are the only side to have beaten them at this ground so far, and they will put up a fight throughout the 90 minutes.
Nathan Jones’ men look like the ideal opponent due to their lowly league position however, they have an incredibly well-stocked squad, and that could just tip the balance.
The Red Devils rode their luck against Norwich, and although Stoke have been lambasted for being wasteful this season, they could just edge this.
Stoke to Win by a One Goal Margin
This won’t be easy for the Potters, although a number of players will come into this game with a point to prove. Rotation might not necessarily be seen in a negative context here, and Nathan Jones should be able to get an idea of how committed some of his summer signings are to the cause.
Stoke won’t blitz Crawley, they might need a late goal to seal their place in the next round. Gabriele Cioffi’s side are likely to search for the opening goal, and they could be lively in the early exchanges.
There’s little value in backing the Championship strugglers at an odds-on price, so backing Stoke to Win by a 1 Goal Margin at 3/1 with Bet365 looks ideal.
Crawley vs Stoke Betting Tip
Stoke to Win by a 1 Goal Margin – 3/1 with Bet365
Read More: See the rest of this week’s football match previews from the Carabao Cup matches.
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