A 5-1 Boxing Day battering at Newcastle was not only a detriment to Stoke’s already low self-esteem, but their ranks were severely depleted owing to red cards for Glenn Whelan and Mark Wilson.
The pair will be absent for the Potters’ trip to Tottenham, where they’re priced at 6/1 to collect three points. Spurs have stuttered at White Hart Lane in the fledgling stages of Tim Sherwood’s tenure, but are still heavy 1/2 favourites for victory, with the draw a weighty alternative at 3/1.
Despite a lacklustre start at home – Spurs have lost to West Ham in the Capital One Cup and drawn to a stuttering West Brom side in Sherwood’s two matches at the helm on the homestead – it’s plain to see why the odds are so firmly stacked in the Lilywhites’s favour.
Stoke’s recent away form is beyond dismal. They’ve shipped a minimum of three goals in five of their last six trips in all competitions, including nine in their last three – a run that, miraculously, includes a clean sheet at Hull.
With Mark Hughes’ men hemorrhaging goals at a rate of three per game, lumping on over 2.5 Spurs goals at 2/1 would be an advisable move, but a safer avenue to traverse in the hunt of the ever-elusive profit is a wager on the second half being where the most home goals are plundered.
In each of the previous three Stoke games in which they’ve conceded goals, all but two of them have come after the interval, a total of 10 from 12.
At 13/10 then, another Potters post-half time capitulation is too tempting to resist. The same can also be said of the 11/10 on offer for the second half to be the one that produces the most goals, with five of Spurs’ last nine strikes coming after the break to offer further support to this cause.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date
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