Stoke lost 3-2 at home to QPR last weekend, while Blackburn salvaged a 3-3 draw at Wigan in bizarre circumstances, so anything could happen when the sides meet at lunchtime on Saturday.
It’s not often you see a goalkeeper winning a side a penalty but that’s exactly what happened last weekend. When Blackburn’s Paul Robinson ventured into Wigan penalty area in injury time with his side trailing 3-2, he got a kick to the head and the ref pointed to the spot. That came after a somewhat contentious earlier goal scored by Rovers when Morten Gamst Pedersen appeared to take a corner to himself, dribbling towards the area before playing in Junior Hoilett to head home. If you think the gods are smiling on Steve Kean’s side at present, you can back them for the win on Saturday at odds of 4/1 (bet365 – £200 free bets).
Stoke will be under firm orders to keep things tight at the Britannia after Tony Pulis was dismayed at his team conceding three at home to QPR. With no Europa League this week, the Potters will be fresh as spring daisies and should be far too robust for a vulnerable Blackburn side. The home side can be backed at best odds of 5/6 (Coral – £30 free betting), with the draw at 11/4 (William Hill).
Adding further fuel to the burning argument towards a Stoke victory is the fact they have beaten Rovers on four of the last five occasions they have met, with the other being a draw. Indeed Blackburn have not even managed to score a single goal against Stoke since their last win against them in December 2008. If you fancy that trend to continue, you can back Tony Pulis’s team to win to nil at odds of 21/10 (Paddy Power), which is just good enough to tempt us in.