It has been a low-scoring start to the season for Stoke City, who have managed to score just four times in seven Premier League matches. For most teams, this would mean a place in the bottom three, although the Potters are pretty hard to score against at the Britannia Stadium with Nani the only player to manage this so far.
Tony Pulis’ side have drawn at home to Manchester United and Chelsea this term while beating Liverpool, so the 11/10 (bet365 – £200 free bets) about City claiming the three points on Saturday looks like a fair price.
Never has it been so difficult to face this team at the Brit, with the aerial threat of Peter Crouch being added into the mix, while Jonathan Woodgate and Matthew Upson’s presence in the squad means that the defence stands strong in front of the improving Asmir Begovic.
A Stoke win to nil can be backed at 23/10 (Paddy Power – £100 free betting) and the only question is whether Fulham will now have the bit between their teeth after mauling Queens Park Rangers 6-0 a fortnight ago.
Martin Jol will have been somewhat frustrated by the international break intervening just as his team were starting to move through the gears and a trip to windy Staffordshire is clearly a tougher prospect than a west London derby in front of their own supporters.
Even so, some might like the look of the 3/1 (Ladbrokes – £50 free bets) that the Cottagers claim victory against a team that lost 2-0 to Swansea in their last match. Andy Johnson can’t stop scoring at the moment following his brace in Odense and then a hat-trick against QPR, with the former Everton strike a 17/2 chance to score first.
However, that man Crouch did for United’s 100% record recently and he is 11/2 to score his third goal in four games by breaking the deadlock at the Brit.