Stevenage make the trip to the bet365 Stadium this afternoon to face Alex Neil’s Stoke City in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup…
After the miracle story at Villa Park three weeks ago, Boro appear in the Fourth Round of The FA Cup against Sky Bet Championship opposition.
This match marks just the fifth time that Stevenage have made it this far in the competition, with the last occasion coming in the 2013/14 campaign. Boro will be looking to make the fifth round for just the second time in the club’s history.
Stoke City currently sit eighteenth in The Championship, just seven points clear of the drop zone after winning nine from twenty-eight league games. Last weekend, The Potters welcomed Reading to the bet365 Stadium and thrashed The Royals 4-0. Stoke reached the Fourth Round of The FA Cup this season thanks to a 3-0 away victory over League Two Hartlepool in the Third Round.
Stoke City is a club with rich history, having spent a total of sixty-two seasons in the topflight in the past. Their most recent spell in the Premier League was from 2008-2018, which included a campaign of Europa League Football in which they made it to the Round of 32. Although The Potters do not have an FA Cup in their trophy cabinet, they were runners up in 2011 and have been semi-finalists on three occasions.
Alex Neil is the current Stoke boss after being appointed in August 2022. He has previously enjoyed management spells at Hamilton Academical, Preston North End, Sunderland, and perhaps most notably, Norwich City. Neil’s Canaries won the 2015 Championship Play-Off final but were relegated from The Premier League in the following season.
Played for Both
There have been a selection of players who have appeared for both of tomorrow’s sides with perhaps the most notable player being in the current Stoke squad. Ben Wilmot progressed through Stevenage’s youth ranks before making fourteen senior appearances. Wilmot has now been a regular in The Potters’ defence for two consecutive seasons.
Michael Tonge was purchased for £2 million by Stoke in 2008 but made just twelve appearances in between loan spells. Tonge then signed for Stevenage in 2015 and made fifty-six appearances in midfield. John Dreyer took the role as Assistant Manager during Graham Westley’s second managerial spell. Dreyer made thirty-one appearances for Boro in the early 2000s and fifty appearances for Stoke in the mid-nineties.
The bet365 Stadium has been home to Stoke City since it was built in 1998. Former player Stanley Matthews’ ashes were buried beneath the centre circle of the pitch following his death in 2000. The capacity for the stadium is 30,089.
David Webb has been appointed as Match Referee for the fixture with Graham Kane and Hristo Karaivanov as his assistants, and Ben Toner as Fourth Official. Webb has dished out eighty yellow cards and five reds twenty four matches.