The bare statistics may point to last season being one of mid-table mediocrity for Stoke City, but the reality is, it was anything but for fans in this part of the Midlands.
Under Mark Hughes, the Potters have continued to become one of the more stylish teams in the league, with Xherdan Shaqiri arguably the star of the show in Staffordshire last season.
And they remain tough to beat, with only Tottenham of last season’s top five able to come away from Stoke with three points.
Having added Joe Allen and Egyptian talent Ramadan Sobhi to the ranks – while keeping hold of Shaqiri, Marko Arnautovic and the rest – there’s plenty for Stoke fans to be optimistic about.
The Potters are the latest to receive out Premier League Countdown Boosts, though we begin with a surprise threat of relegation…
08:00-12:00: Stoke to be relegated was 8/1, NOW 12/1
With Middlesbrough quickly looking a safe bet for survival, it could be that this season sees a mid-table regular fall into the drop zone.
Having won only one of their final seven games last term, some may see Stoke as that team.
12:00-15:00: Stoke to get 55 or more Premier League points was 7/1, NOW 9/1
Last season was the third in succession that the Staffordshire club reached the 50-point mark.
The Potters are yet to reach 55 in the Premier League, but with smart signings like Allen this summer, it’s a perfectly achievable target this time around.
15:00-18:00: Stoke to finish in the Top 10 was 7/4, NOW 9/4
There’s plenty of logic to support this offer with Stoke finishing ninth in each of the last three campaigns. Having never finished lower than 14th, they should be right in contention for another top ten this time around.
18:00-22:00: Any Stoke player to score 12 or more Premier League goals was 5/2, NOW 4/1
In both of the last two seasons, Stoke’s top goalscorer has scored 11 times, but after boosting their midfield and attack with Allen and Sobhi, it won’t take much for Arnautovic or Mame Biram Diouf to hit 12 or more this term.
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