Not an option – Why Stoke City are heading into their biggest weekend of the season so far



Michael O’Neill insists he and his players are focussing on themselves – and that only they can save themselves.

But even he will be anxious to find out how Stoke City’s relegation rivals have fared this weekend.

For Stoke’s game at home to Hull – arguably their biggest of the season so far – takes place simultaneously with two other so-called `six pointers’ on Saturday.

Charlton (39pts) host Middlesbrough (38pts) and Wigan (40pts) entertain Luton (34 pts).

On top of those, there’s Barnsley (34pts) at home to Cardiff, Birmingham at home to Reading (45pts) and Leeds at home to Huddersfield (42pts).

Not forgetting that game at the bet365 between Stoke (39pts) and Hull (41pts).

A win for Stoke could see them leap from 21st to 17th, but defeat could see them fall a place into the bottom three.

But defeat, or even a draw at home to fast-fading Hull, will also have dire consequences for Stoke’s belief in their ability to survive.

For Hull arrive at the bet365 with at least nine players absent injured, their two best players sold at the end of January and just two points from the last 30 they have played for since New Year’s Day.

Failing to win just isn’t an option.





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