Stoke's Championship status can be secured with win at Bristol

BRISTOL is a city steeped in history, some of it chequered because of its past connection with the transatlantic slave trade.

Tonight, it will have a major say in the future of Stoke City as a Championship, as the Potters crave the points that would spare them relegation to League One.

A win would secure Stoke Championship status for another season, by taking them onto the 51 points mark and out of reach of the bottom three teams, Hull, Luton and Barnsley.

Hull's hopes of avoiding the drop were stuffed by a 8-0 hammering at Wigan last night and Luton's recent recovery was stalled by a 1-1 draw at home to QPR, while bottom club Barnsley appear to have little of hope troubling league leaders Leeds away tomorrow night.

With two tough games against promotion contenders Brentford (3rd) at home and Notts Forest (8th) away, before the season comes to an end, the importance of a Stoke win at Bristol tonight cannot be emphasised enough.

Stoke boss Michael O'Neill was pleased with his side's immediate 5-0 drubbing at Leeds last Thursday evening, when a vastly improved display saw them comfortably beat Birmingham 2-0 at the bet365 stadium on Sunday.

Up against a managerless Bristol side that has lost its last four games, Stoke will be expected to make it back to back wins that will at last get them out of trouble.

Tonight's match at Bristol kicks off at 5pm.


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