[Image] Strongest Stoke City 4-1-4-1 XI to face Leeds United in the EFL Championship

Predicted Stoke City line-up to face Leeds United in the EFL Championship

Stoke City begin their Championship campaign away to Leeds United on Sunday. Stoke were relegated alongside Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion last season and have lost key players.

But manager Gary Rowett has brought in five signings so far this summer and should go all guns blazing from the onset to have an assault on promotion.

Team News

Stoke attacker Ibrahim Afellay is expected to face another long spell on the sidelines after suffering another knee injury.

Otherwise, Rowett has a full squad to take to Elland Road for the encounter against Leeds United, with latest addition Ashley Williams expected to be on the bench after signing from Everton on a season-long loan.

Probable Stoke XI

Formation: 4-1-4-1

Manager: Gary Rowett

Jack Butland (GK)

Rowett expects Jack Butland to remain at the club despite their relegation to the Championship. Butland has been one of the Premier League’s top goalkeepers in recent seasons and could have a mighty say in Stoke’s promotion if he stays put at the club.

Moritz Bauer (RB)

Bauer has made a considerable impact at Stoke since arriving in January. He is naturally a full-back and he contributes to the attack as well.

Ryan Shawcross

Ryan Shawcross (CB)

Shawcross’s experience, leadership and solidity would surely make him one of the best defenders in the second tier of English football.

Bruno Martins Indi (CB)

Martins Indi made just 17 league appearances last season, having struggled with an injury. Now fully fit and running, the Dutch defender has all the tools to excel in the Championship.

Erik Pieters (LB)

Pieters may lack the pace as needed for a full-back but he possesses solid experience and can read the game so well.

Darren Fletcher (CDM)

Fletcher seems like the ideal fit to start as the holding midfielder. With his array of passing, the veteran can boss the midfield and use his experience to good effect.

Joe Allen

Joe Allen (LCM)

Allen’s decision to stay put at Stoke came as a real boost as the diminutive midfielder could have a big part to play in the club’s promotion charge.

Peter Etebo (RCM)

Energetic and hard-working, Peter Etebo is a fantastic addition for Stoke.

Tom Ince (RW)

Tom Ince has dropped down to the Championship and could be an impactful player for the Potters. His pace, dynamism and directness can cause all sorts of problems to Leeds’ defence on Sunday.

James McClean

James McClean (LW)

McClean’s unpredictability could make him a valuable asset for Stoke. The winger may frustrate with his lack of end product but is never shy of taking on defenders and pulling the trigger.

Benik Afobe (ST)

Afobe possesses blistering pace to trouble Leeds defenders but he needs regular supply from his teammates to thrive as a lone striker.

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