Stoke City demonstrated what a difficult team they are to break down on Sunday, with Chelsea unable to unlock the Potters defence despite some concerted second half pressure in the Premier League opener at the Britannia Stadium.
After beating Hajduk Split in the previous round of the Europa League, just FC Thun stand between the Potters and a place in the group stage of the competition, with Tony Pulis attempting to recruit players at a fast rate of knots as his team compete on several fronts.
Stoke are the 6/4 favourites (Stan James – £150 free bets) to win Thursday’s match at Arena Thun, with City likely to be full of confidence after holding Chelsea and they will once again look to keep things tight in this game.
Under 2.5 Goals is on offer at 8/11 and it will be interesting to see whether FC Thun can find a way through, with the Swiss side not wanting to go to the Britannia Stadium next week without an advantage.
Bernard Challandes’ side finished fifth in the Swiss Super League last term and they can be backed at 9/4 (bet365 – £200 free betting) to claim victory in front of 10,000 fans.
Even so, Stoke will be determined to come home with a clean sheet as they did in Split and Ladbrokes offer 9/4 that the Potters defence achieve another shut-out, with Matthew Upson likely to replace Jonathan Woodgate or Robert Huth instead coming into the centre.