Saturday Jan 09, 2021. 13:00
Stoke City coach Michael O’Neill has identified Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel as one of the players he plans to give game time to in today’s FA Cup clash with Leicester City.
The former Super Eagles star has recently returned from an injury that kept him sidelined for several weeks, and was involved in the Potters’ last two league games against Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth.
In total, Mikel missed out on eight matches due to his injury, including the Carabao Cup quarterfinal loss to Tottenham Hotspur.
“The players that need minutes for us are the most experienced players, the likes of John Obi, Sam Clucas, Joe Allen, Ryan Shawcross, Danny Batth, these are all players that have been out of the team in recent times or are coming back from injury,” O’Neill told his club’s official website.
“I don’t think if we do shuffle the pack we’ll necessarily be any weaker and if anything, we’ll be more experienced if we decide to go that way.
“Ultimately you have to be competitive in the game and that is what we aspire to be,” O’Neill added. “It would be a great cup tie to have if the ground was full, coming up against a team that is at the top of the Premier League and have been there all season.
“You can have the benefit of trying to cause an upset and we’ll try that regardless. The important thing for us is to get a good level of performance and as I say, a positive result.”
The Stoke v Leicester FA Cup Third Round tie is scheduled to be played at the Britannia Stadium, with kick-off at 17:00 CAT.