Baggies in League Cup action at Stoke

Stoke City v West Bromwich Albion; Bet365 Stadium, Tuesday 8th August 2023, 7.45pm

Coming as it does, these days, so early in the season, the first round of the League Cup is always something of a lottery, even more so when playing against another Championship team. With the transfer window still open, it is tricky to predict what each manager is likely to do with their team selection with the first choice eleven yet to really be determined and new signings at different stages of integration with the squad.

A new-look City thumped Rotherham United 4-1 on Saturday with new signing, André Vidigal, grabbing a debut brace. Full back, Ki-Jana Hoever, on his second spell on loan at Stoke from Wolves, also scored. Ben Pearson, a new permanent signing from Bournemouth following a successful loan spell, Michael Rose, a free transfer from Coventry City, and former Blades’ full back, Enda Stevens, were also in the starting line-up. Brazilian Wesley, who joined from Aston Villa for an undisclosed fee having spent the last two seasons on loan overseas, came on as a late substitute. Other new faces include Irish duo Mark Travers, a loanee from Bournemouth who started on Saturday, and Luke McNally, a defender on loan from Burnley as well as Chiquinho, a Portuguese winger on loan from Wolves and 30-year-old Daniel Johnson who made a permanent move to the Potteries to re-join Alex Neil after eight years at Preston North End.

Whether Neil will play many of his first team for this first cup tie of the season remains to be seen but the squad will certainly be buoyed by what was their best opening day victory for 20 years. It is a significant improvement on a dreadful finish to the last campaign when they failed to win any of their last seven matches, a run that included Albion’s victory at the Bet365 Stadium in April.

It seems likely that Corberán will look to use his squad for this match which could give some of those left out of the starting line up at Blackburn a chance to impress. Josh Maja will be one face that Baggies fans will be hoping to see in an Albion shirt for the first time, while we may well see Josh Griffiths along with Caleb Taylor and Kyle Bartley. However, given his less-than-impressive display on Saturday, Corberán may choose to give Kipré another game to build up some confidence. Erik Pieters is another one waiting for an opportunity while Saturday’s substitutes Mowatt, Gardner-Hickman, Swift and Sarmiento may also be hoping for some more extended game time.

David Button and Grady Diangana seem to be out of the Spaniard’s plans, but then so was Chalobah until his surprise inclusion on Saturday. Youngsters Ethan Ingram, Jamie Andrews, Tom Fellows and Jovan Malcolm may also get minutes.

It’s very difficult to know what to expect from this match, but we can only hope that those given an opportunity impress enough to provide Corberán with some tricky selection decisions for the first home game of the season on Saturday. I always like a cup run but I’m not expecting this competition to be given much priority and progress to the next round would be a bonus.


Albion have never met in the League Cup before and have only been drawn together in cup competitions on four previous occasions despite both clubs’ long histories.

Three of those cup ties were in the FA Cup, the first being in the fifth round at Albion’s Stoney Lane ground in 1888, long before “City” was added to Stoke’s name. The hosts ran out 4-1 winners with 19th century Throstles legend Jem Bayliss scoring all four goals. He would captain the side to their first major trophy as they lifted the FA Cup a couple of months later.

The Potters were still plan “Stoke” when they were drawn together again in the FA Cup, in the first round in 1907. The first match at the Hawthorns in front of an impressive 32,000 spectators finished 1-1 with Tommy Broad scoring Albion’s goal, George Baddeley notching for the visitors. Just over 13,500 witnessed the replay at the Victoria Ground which also finished all square, 2-2 with Arthur Randle and Bruce Rankin scoring for the Throstles. A second replay was held at Villa Park with Albion winning 2-0 thanks to a penalty from Tommy Dilly and a goal from Ted Pheasant.

The last time the two teams met in a cup competition was in 1998 when they were once again drawn together in the FA Cup, this time in the third round. On that occasion, Albion dispatched the Potters at the first attempt – Richard Sneekes scored twice in four first half minutes to give the hosts a 2-0 half time lead. Marco Gabbiadini pulled one back for the visitors just after the hour mark but Kevin Kilbane made sure of the hosts’ passage to the fourth round with a third for the Baggies with 12 minutes left.

The only other meeting in a cup competition came at the Victoria Ground in the quarter final of the much-maligned Football League Trophy in February 1993. The two sides were battling it out at the top of the Second Division and both sides would be promoted at the end of the season, Stoke as champions and Albion via the play-offs. Bob Taylor gave Albion the lead just after half time but two late goals from Mark Stein gave the hosts a place in the semi-final.

Stat Attack

Current Form

Albion W L L W L L
Stoke City L L D L L W

All competitions; most recent game on the right

Last matches

Last meeting

15 Apr 2023 – League Championship
Stoke City 1 (Brown)
West Bromwich Albion 2 (Molumby (2))

Albion’s Record against Stoke City

  Overall   Away
  P W D L F A   P W D L F A
League 146 48 35 63 195 213   73 14 22 37 70 125
FA Cup 5 3 2 0 12 6   1 0 1 0 2 2
Other 1 0 0 1 1 2   1 0 0 1 1 2
Total 152 51 37 64 208 221   75 14 23 38 73 129

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