Premier League Countdown: Big odds for a Stoke to start with a bang

After last season’s exploits it looks as if Stoke City have been handed a dream start to their Premier League campaign.

An opener against a Liverpool side they thrashed 6-1 on the final day back in May will hold fond memories for the Britannia faithful.

But a repeat of more than just that Reds stuffing will be needed if they are to land Ladbrokes’ latest Premier League Countdown boost.

The bookies have enhanced the price on Mark Hughes’ men finding themselves in the top three on September 1 to a whopping 9/1, and there’s no reason why they can’t deliver.

Following the visit of Brendan Rodgers and Co. a trip to Tottenham is in store for Stoke, with White Hart Lane the venue for a 2-1 victory over the Lilywhites last term.

Then comes an excursion to Premier League new boys Norwich, before hosting West Bromwich Albion.

The Baggies lost 2-0 in Staffordshire in 2014-15, giving Stoke a clean sweep against three of their four opening opponents.

Repeat that and a payout for backers of our special look assured with nine points being enough for a top three position in the table after four matches in seven of the last eight seasons.

Add that they will expect to secure at least a point against the Canaries and they look in a strong position to start well.

They haven’t been higher than fifth after four matches in their Premier League history, but with some positive acquisitions they can end that barren run.

Mark Hughes has certainly been busy over the summer, once again raiding the Barcelona reserve and youth teams to bring in striker Joselu and attacking midfielder Moha El Ouriachi.

Glen Johnson has arrived on a free transfer, while Marco van Ginkel will be out to prove himself after joining on loan from Chelsea.

The loss of Asmir Begovic could be seen as a negative point, but with the potential of Jack Butland to step up to the mark, the enthusiasm around the Britannia Stadium is sure to be high.

And while the Premier League is about more than just the start, beginning as they mean to go on could leave them in a lofty position and backers on cloud nine at the start of September.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.