Nathan Collins in contention for league debut as Stoke face Birmingham

Stoke teenager Nathan Collins could be in line for his first league appearance of the season against Birmingham on Sunday
Stoke teenager Nathan Collins could be in line for his first league appearance of the season against Birmingham on Sunday - (Copyright PA Archive)
18:40pm, Fri 02 Oct 2020
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Stoke teenager Nathan Collins could be in line for a first league appearance during his side’s clash with Birmingham on Sunday.

The 19-year-old impressed during his side’s 1-0 win at Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup and could have done enough to earn himself a place in Michael O’Neill’s squad.

Bruno Martins Indi was another one who impressed midweek and has an outside chance of being included on Sunday.

Joe Allen is a long-term absentee after he ruptured an Achilles tendon in the last match before lockdown while Ryan Shawcross has not featured since June after suffering a succession of injuries following a broken leg.

Mikel San Jose could be included in Aitor Karanka’s matchday squad for the first time for the short trip to the Bet365 Stadium.

The 31-year-old, who has seven caps for Spain, joined Birmingham on a two-year contract from Athletic Bilbao in September and is awaiting his debut.

In a boost for Karanka, Jonathan Leko has returned to training from an anterior cruciate ligament injury although the forward is thought to be several weeks away from a return to match fitness.

Josh McEachran also remains sidelined with an ACL problem, although his progress is expected to be two weeks behind Leko.

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