The Potters were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2017-18 season and have since been trying to get promoted.
Since being relegated, Stoke have finished all three seasons in the bottom half of the Championship.
After a fairly good start to this campaign, could this be the season where they can win their way back into the top division of English football?
Stoke lost the matchday 5 game against league leaders Fulham, which was their first defeat of the season. It was a poor performance against the leaders of the Championship, without creating any real goal scoring opportunities and defending poorly.
Before this, they drew against Birmingham on matchday 2 but have been able to pull out victories in the other 3 games.
They have scored 7 goals so far and conceded 6, but 3 out of the 6 were conceded against Fulham.
This shows that they have been good enough defensively and have been able to score goals to win matches.
Currently sitting in 5th, Stoke City fans would be hoping to at least finish in the top 6 and qualify for the promotion playoffs after a good start to the season. Stoke City have put in the most number of crosses(99) in the entire Championship and have the third-highest success percentage in those crosses. They also have the 4th highest number of touches(94), with the third-highest number of key passes(23).
All these statistics show that they have been strong going forward creating a decent amount of goal scoring opportunities.
Defensively, living up to their reputation, they have been strong enough, with the highest percentage of winning aerial duels(55.3%). If we leave out the game against Fulham, Stoke have had a decent defensive record conceding just 3 goals in the first 4 matches. They have also been strong going forward, scoring goals and creating opportunities regularly, with a lot of crosses coming into the box.
Stoke City have been setting up with a defensively strong 5-3-2 formation, keeping all 5 defensive players mostly in their own half. They have been relying on their 5 advanced players for the goals, and have thus far been successful.
It is fair to say that if Stoke City are able to put up consecutive strong defensive performances like they have so far and mix it up with the decent attacking performances that they have been putting in, they have a very high chance of finishing in the top 6 and qualifying for the Championship playoffs. Whatever happens in the playoffs is another story, but finishing in one of those qualifying positions should be their main aim for this season.