While results haven’t been awful, a severely depleted win column is preventing Stoke from jetting clear of the relegation zone and, with a difficult month on the horizon, the Potters could find themselves teetering on the fine line separating Premier League wealth from Championship poverty going into the final third of the season.
Mark Hughes’ men can be backed at 11/1 to go down this term and there looks to be a lot of value in these fattened odds.
Just three wins are all they’ve mustered in their last 17 outings and, even though only five of these matches were league losses, the team sit just five points clear of the drop zone.
In what has been a fiercely competitive and unpredictably volatile Premier League thus far, it’s far from beyond the realms of possibility that they’ll be reined in having showcased such humdrum form the majority of the season.
With just five wins to their name, they hardly look a side dependable enough to rack up the points needed to climb the table and an unfavourable run of fixtures could see them plunged into the mire ahead of February.
Home games against Manchester United and Liverpool provide the bread for a Crystal Palace and Sunderland away sandwich and with both of those sides improving their form on their own patch these two games will be a far cry from easy.
Stoke have beaten just one side on the road all season in the league, scoring just eight and conceding a massive 23. Only one other team has leaked more goals on their travels than the Potters.
Being such poor travellers, both Palace and Sunderland will be targeting maximum points from Stoke’s visit and the results of these games will have massive ramifications for the rest of the season, particularly if they record the forecasted bagel when squaring off with the Reds and United.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date
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